The rise of pandemic learning pods is showing signs that it may have staying power. That momentum is fueling investor interest in learning pod solutions, including KaiPod Learning, which has raised $1.5 million in seed funding from a combination of investors, including Y Combinator, GSV Ventures, EO Ventures, and Verissimo Ventures, among other strategic investors that have founded other education companies.
As traditional brick-and-mortar schools across the country have resumed more conventional, in-person schedules, many students aren’t returning. Many of those students are enrolling in learning pods. According to Tyton Partners, roughly 1.5 million students were enrolled in microschools or learning pods this fall.
To put that number in perspective, prior to the pandemic in the fall of 2018, 3.3 million students were enrolled in charter schools—or 7 percent of the K–12 student population in the United States. Roughly 5.7 million students were enrolled in private schools in the fall of 2017. Although estimates vary dramatically, homeschoolers numbered around 1.7 million before the pandemic—or 3.3 percent of the schooling population.