Over the last decade, Brazil has “come online” in a big way. The percentage of people using the Web in Brazil leapt from 9 percent in 2002 to about 50 percent in 2012, according to the ITU. With 60 million Brazilians now using Facebook, thanks to increasing access to the Internet and the rise of social media, the country is undergoing a digital transformation — and with that comes a slew of exciting opportunities for startups.
However, usually when it comes to growth potential, Brazil’s eCommerce market gets most of the attention. Nonetheless, a flurry of noteworthy developments over the last six months have begun to make it clear that another big market (and opportunity) is quietly emerging in Brazil: Education technology.
While Google and Apple have made sizable strides in education in the U.S., and chip makers like Intel have begun to reveal EdTech aspirations, Amazon’s plans have been less clear. But with its announcement yesterday, we now have an idea, and it looks to start (at least in part) with Brazil. Though the textbook industry is a fragmented market in the U.S., Jeff Bezos and company see the thriving market in Latin America as a big opportunity for its textbook business.
According to BetaNews, Amazon has landed a major contract with the Brazil’s Ministry of Education, which will see it work with the country’s educational development fund to convert and distribute textbooks to schools across Brazil. The pair have already begun to digitize more than 200 textbooks and distribute them to hundreds of thousands of Brazilian educators through Whispercast.
Amazon claims that over 40 million digital textbooks have already been distributed through its service around the world, and, while it’s not yet clear what its targets are for Brazil, it no doubt intends to be a wide-scale roll-out. Read more here.