Now that COVID-19 has actually sped up the adoption of digital education tools, edtech has turned into one of the hottest locations of financial investment.

As someone who has remained in edtech for nearly twenty years, this sounds like the accurate moment to capitalize on all the newfound interest. Which is why what I’m about to state may be unexpected: I’m leaving edtech for the world of video gaming with my new business, Solitaired.

I first entered edtech in high school, when a friend and I founded EasyBib, a website that assisted trainees cite sources for their papers. At the time, we were just students who felt there needed to be a better way than formatting tiresome citations for research study documents by hand. But as we dove into the business further, we understood there was a lot to like about bibliographies and education technology in basic.

For one, the education market is big. There are more than 56 million K-16 students in the U.S., and over 1.3 billion internationally. Federal, state and local governments spend an aggregate of 5% of GDP on education, and that doesn’t even include what students and moms and dads spend on content and technology.

Secondly, it’s structured. Students generally all go through the exact same curriculum together. That means most trainees have the exact same issue in the exact same method; if you resolve a problem for one group of users, you’ve probably fixed it for a lot of users.

The citation problem was just like that. When we offered our company to Chegg, we were already reaching 4 out of five trainees that required bibliographies, or over 30 million trainees in the U.S. Edtech business that help students with mathematics, chemistry, research aid, tutoring and other curricular needs can construct enormous audiences rapidly.

Edtech that becomes part of the curriculum likewise has high engagement. EasyBib users remained on our website for nearly 10 minutes per session, creating one citation after another for their bibliographies. For direct-to-consumer edtech business that are advertisement and subscription driven, this habits creates lots of monetization opportunities.

While we grew quickly, our endemic market chance was restricted. Why? The strengths of edtech can also be its disadvantages, especially for a startup. On the user growth front, we focused on school relationships, marketing and SEO. Once we reached four out of every five trainees in the U.S., there wasn’t a lot more space to grow.

To increase engagement even further, we tried a variety of things: motivating more citation production, including research and note-taking features and building a Chrome extension to be more ever-present in the user’s research journey. Those efforts fell short too. Ultimately, the school calendar determined how typically trainees needed to utilize us, and we were constrained by the number of research study papers instructors appointed.

These obstacles can definitely be overcome. As a start-up, we had to decide if we desired to pursue growths and adjacencies ourselves. Ultimately, this realization was among the reasons we chose to sell our business to Chegg, which had a larger user base and item synergies that we could not accomplish on our own. As anyone who follows Chegg might understand, they’ve been really effective in speeding up the edtech digital change.

We had these lessons in the back of our mind when we began believing about our second organization. That’s when we found gaming.

Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.