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September 5, 2021

Rebecca Kaden on the Future of Learning

Rebecca Kaden is a Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures. She is deeply passionate about the future of learning. One of the core theses at USV is built on making education more affordable and creating better outcomes for students. Their education portfolio consists of edtech market leaders including Outschool, Duolingo, Quizlet, Codecademy, Skillshare, and more recently Sora.

Watch the video to learn more about:

  • Rebecca’s investing thesis for the future of learning and education?
  • What are the biggest pain points that need to be solved in learning and education today?
  • Why are virtual live learning platforms like Outschool thriving?

Key Moments

03:44 – On USV’s education thesis and some of the inefficiencies of the current education system

06:20 – On Rebecca’s late father’s passion for broadening access to education and how that’s also manifested her own interest in education

09:51 – How USV’s education thesis has evolved over the last decade

14:30 – On the strength and efficacy of online experiential learning platforms and tools

16:51 – On the structure of public school and how it can mislead kids into thinking they aren’t “built” for school

18:50 – Why the public school system is still very important especially for kids

20:13 – On the success of Outschool and other USV edtech investments during COVID and its long-term outlook

24:33 – The role monetization could come to play in public education with more outcome-based alternatives available

28:45 – On creator-led schools/courses and where they will fit in a future education system

30:14 – On the future of higher ed institutions

32:45 – Where alternative financing tools like Lambda’s ISA fit into the puzzle

34:18 – On the type of learning models that USV is really excited about

35:32 – How a social platform like Tik Tok carries a very important role in learning today

37:48 – Why a school like Sora that encourages passion projects for kids and tailored learning based on their interests is so powerful

40:29 – What Rebecca hopes to see in education in the next 5 years

41:13 – How USV evaluates learning platforms and other investments for their portfolio

Q&A from Gamechanger/Disco Audience:

44:11 – Where USV stands on 0-5 aged segment and direct to parent models

45:32 – How productized learning platforms like Duolingo can dramatically break down cost barriers

46:58 – On specific metrics USV analyzes when evaluating education startups

48:08 – On the role of government in the future of education

49:35 – On globalization’s impact on learning and how it creates opportunity

51:45 – 3 strong “loosely held” opinions Rebecca has on education in the future