Started in June 2015 by Venkata Raghulan, Rajesh Kumar and Tyagarajan Sundaresan, Bengaluru-based ChalkStreet is an online learning platform, where teachers and experts across the country can connect with millions of learners. Users can choose free online courses in their favorite topics and experience learning. The startup provides courses for users who are looking to upskill themselves for a new job, preparing for a competitive exam, planning to become an entrepreneur, and trying to stay healthy or follow their passion by learning a new art form.
Here is a video in which ChalkStreet is asking people, what they would like to learn. Here are some interesting replies.
What ChalkStreet Do?
The company has authors who have built courses on the topics including design, photography, placement preparation, programming, excel, health & fitness, musical instruments, spoken language and many more.
On ChalkStreet platform, users can find hundreds of courses, tutorials and guides when they want and experience a way to learn which consists of video lectures, presentations, flash cards and articles. Also, users can save course offline and access them whenever they want even without network connectivity as they travel. The startup allows users to engage in discussions on courses, find and follow friends and stay updated on their learning journeys.
In India, the startup faces competition from Simplilearn, that is focused on certification space. Some global players who offer similar type of content include Udemy, Skillshare, etc. There are also marketplaces looking to offer on-demand content for user.
About the Founders
Venkata Raghulan, Rajesh Kumar and Tyagarajan Sundaresan are from the batch of 2007 from IIMK, IIMK and IIMB respectively. Venkat and Rajesh have also founded an another startup FACE in 2008, which currently provides employment skill training to over 10 lakh students in 600+ colleges with footprints in all the 29 states of India.
Tyag comes with 8 years of work experience which includes first-hand experience of Indian eCommerce space with Amazon India and Flipkart. He has launched several categories in Flipkart and was part of the Amazon India launch team. Tyag and Venkat were colleagues in Deloitte, and Tyag & Rajesh were college mates from their under-grad from PSG CT, Coimbatore.
Funding Amount Raised Till Now
ChalkStreet is a bootstrapped company. It is currently funded by FACE (an employment skill training platform), Rajesh and Venkat’s earlier startup.
The company plans to scale up in the next 12 to 18 months and are actively inviting funding partnerships that will enable it to launch massively.
How Well is it Doing Currently?
Since the startup launched its Android App on September 10, it has amassed close to 12,000 downloads. The company has 30,000 monthly active users on its platform and more than 15,000 course subscribers.
How Does it Monetize?
ChalkStreet’s revenue comes from the paid courses subscribed by its learners. Like most marketplaces, it works on a revenue sharing model. The startup shares the revenues earned from individual courses with the respective instructors who developed them. Its current focus is to continue to build relevance for its learners by bringing in better content on to the platform while bringing in new learners.
Market Size and Opportunity
Market for online learning in India is expected to grow to $40 billion by 2017. Internet penetration is growing phenomenally (>500 million internet users by 2017) and will be mobile driven. Majority of this new penetration will come from rural areas with an increasing demand for vernacular content that is tailored for them. ChalkStreet is trying to build a platform that will scale (with on-demand content from teachers across the country) and will be relevant across the country to take advantage of this opportunity.
In future, the startup is looking to scale up its reach to potential authors across the country by bringing in hundreds of authors across all cities on its platform. It now has a service around course development that the startup offer to first time authors to develop their content and bring their knowledge to lakhs of learners.
In the longer term, the firm is working on product-izing this service in the form of a revolutionary authorshipwi tool that would simplify course creation process for authors and enable them to teach a nation as well as it will bring in lots of relevant content.