22 June 2021
There are now numerous examples of the acceleration of digital transformation across many if not most industries ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic, but few have hit home as much as the changes within education. In early 2020, family homes suddenly became schools, offices and safe havens from a virus that wreaked global havoc and made group assembly a public health risk. Almost overnight, distance learning became the new norm in many parts of the world.
The rapid, pandemic-driven shift to learning from home has, however, perhaps simply accelerated a process the world was already capable of taking and a direction it was already heading in. Technologies and platforms that may have been considered “next gen” were thrust into application, and, for a large part, successfully deployed in a new and uncertain environment.
Certainly it’s true that a more mobile and technology-enabled education sector has, in fact, been under construction for decades. And as the pandemic emerged, education proved more mobile and adaptable than many realised was possible. The sector’s successes are both expanding the addressable market and grabbing additional attention from institutional investors.
“As difficult and costly as the COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be, it has clearly accelerated certain trends, with some of the largest being in the adoption of education technology and services,” said Sam Shah, Global Head of Software & Services at Macquarie Capital. “Education as an industry has shown remarkable creativity and flexibility in stepping up and partnering with public institutions to quickly form solutions. The tremendous innovations made by private education technology and services companies, which have been years in the making, position the sector well for further expansion as we move beyond the pandemic and continue to evolve education models.”
Sam Shah is a Senior Managing Director at Macquarie and leads the firm’s Software & Services franchise globally as well as US industry coverage efforts. He has over 20 years of experience covering Software and Tech-Enabled Services efforts. He specializes in Knowledge & Learning and Information & Data Analytics software companies and has completed over 300 transactions in those areas over the past decade. He leads a team of over 50 bankers in the US exclusively across multiple disciplines within software and tech-enabled services. Through Macquarie’s merchant banking efforts, he has assisted with numerous firm investments across the software and services space.
Prior to Macquarie, Sam was a Managing Director at Credit Suisse and led the firm’s education investment banking franchise. He received a degree in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering from Tufts University.
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