Today a shorter article on emerging business / revenue models in education. Edmodo, the secure social network for K12 schools and teachers announced their API today along with the launch of their own app store with 35 partners.
As Chris and I were asking ourselves the question about Edmodo’s business model on review:ed, now we finally know where the money shall come from as the startup promised to offer its platform for free, forever after their recent funding round of $15 million.
Apparently, Edmodo plans to take a cut of every app sold via the marketplace, an idea that seems to be similar to what Chalkable, a new startup in the LMS space is planning as well. With this turn of events it will be harder for them to gain traction, I suppose as Edmodo claims that their platform is already hosting over 6 million users from 70.000 schools.
Personally, I am not convinced that making your revenue through the sales of third party apps on your platform is a viable business model. We saw different players in the language education space trying to do this, italki and Myngle come to mind.
Also, there is already the beginning of a fragmentation of the education market as teachers and professors are targeted by startups in the LMS space directly instead of attacking the market from the top. Hence, it is likely that one school or college will have two or three different LMS systems running as different teachers might favor different solutions.
It also means that each LMS might have its own App store down the road with school administrators facing the need to purchase different versions of the same application for each individual LMS.
On the other hand, this is, of course a necessary thing to do if you want to compete with Blackboard and its building blocks.
Where I see an app store make total sense in education is in cases like KinderTown that offer a curated app store for parents who are searching for the best education app for their children.