Abu Dhabi-based AI learning company Alef Education’s shareholders plan to sell a 20% stake in an initial public offering, as mentions of edtech in global company filings fell for three consecutive years, according to research and analysis company GlobalData. 

Alef Education, founded in 2016, serves all school years with AI-powered technology learning offerings. 

The UAE is an increasingly popular relocation destination for many people around the world, boasting an exceptionally low crime rate. The increase in new families in the area has driven up spending in education, as private schools are mandatory for expatriate children.

Alef Education reported revenue of $204m for the year ended 2023, a 12.4% increase from 2021, according to Bloomberg.

According to a statement on Monday, Tech Nova Investment, Sole Proprietorship LLC and Kryptonite Investments LLC will offer 1.4 billion shares in the edtech company. Trading is set to begin around 12 June.

The news comes amid a steady fall in mentions of edtech in company filings throughout 2021. Mentions continued to fall in subsequent years, 2022 and 2023, despite a small peak in 2022, according to GlobalData’s Thematic Intelligence: Edtech (2024) report.

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The number of edtech mentions in filings fell from nearly 12,000 in Q2 2021 to less than half that number by Q4 2021. Similarly, the number of mentions in 2022 and 2023 also saw a notable decline in 2021’s mentions total. The number of mentions was well under 2,000 in Q4 2023.

While technology remains a key element of education delivery, GlobalData said the industry had reached a peak from a company filing point of view.

Only AI developments in education will create impetus for company filings referencing edtech to return to their 2021 levels, according to the research company.

In 2020, COVID-19 drove edtech revenue growth by 23% with revenues rising to $158bn.

However, that exceptionally strong growth rate has declined in recent years. Between 2022 and 2030, GlobalData expects the edtech industry to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.8%, reaching $533bn in 2030.