With education being the ultimate goal of 51% parents for their children in India (As per an education survey conducted by HSBC not so long before), it is not very astonishing that EdTech startups are going to witness a bright future in 2017. Not only in terms of funding, the concept of Education startups is rising in terms of expectations and changing preferences of people. Educational companies seem to use different methodologies to change the way how tuitions and coaching are delivered to students.
Some of these startups aim to provide better coaching in their chosen subject domain, some help in cracking academic entrance examinations while some others aim to provide various non-academic courses.
Below is the list of EdTech startups which are all set to be sought after in the year 2017. One can, in 2017, look out for the following educational start-ups which have bought about a start-up revolution:
BYJU’s: The learning App
Founded in the year 2008 by Mr. Byju Raveendran on whose name the app is based on, the BYJU app aims to offer training for preparation of different entrance and competitive examinations like CAT, JEE, IAS, GRE, and GMAT. Since then, it had left a mark on the list of suppliers of school curriculum supplemental classes between grades 6 to 12.
The company got in the limelight in September 2016 for making an announcement of raising $50 million from The Chan Zuckerberg initiative (CZI) and Sequoia Capital along with other investors. In June 2016, the firm was reported to be in profits with revenue which stood at INR 30 crore.
The BYJU app aims to discover a unique methodology for increasing the pace of learning among the students by bringing into account the concept of learning through engaging into videos and interactive activities for personalised tutoring. As on September 2016, the app crossed the 5 million download watermark, reaching a high of 5.5 million downloads with over 2.5 lakhs paid subscribers.
Meritnation: School made easy
Launched in the year 2009 by Mr. Pavan Chauhan, Meritnation is known for making school studies easy for students up to class XII. Meritnation is an online portal for school children and it continues its journey by catering to the learning needs of students in school. It has content aligned and updated to the curriculum of various state boards, ICSE and CBSE. At Meritnation, users have the option to learn through live video lectures and interactive recorded videos. Not only the learning and self-study courses, Meritnation also has a strong focus on conducting regular tests and giving time-bound assignments to check the preparedness of students.
With the fresh funding of INR 25 crore from Info Edge (India) Limited, the company has now raised roughly around INR 96.5 crore from different sources. Meritnation is creating a doubt free environment for school students with the help of online videos of tutorials.
With over 95 lakhs happy users, as claimed by the company, Meritnation application has been successful in gaining 5 million downloads on play store since its inception.
CultureAlley – Language Learning
Founded by the husband-wife duo of Nishant Patni and Pranshu Bhandari, the website CultureAlley came into existence for those struggling to learn languages. “One billion people across the world try to learn a foreign language every year out of which about 60 percent are learning English,” says the founder Pranshu. CultureAlley, having its roots in Jaipur is an online educational platform to learn languages.
CultureAlley has raised $6.15 million from Tiger Global Management after being successfully able to raise seed funding from several individual investors including Google’s Rajan Anandan and Sunil Kalra. The HelloEnglish app of CultureAlley, which works offline, is based on a free English course designed exclusively to learn the English language. It not only focuses on reading/writing English but it also focuses on developing a vocabulary of its users. The said app also claims to impart users with 200 lectures in grammar and building conversations.
The founders say that learning a new language is no cakewalk. CultureAlley aims to make the process of adding more languages in your cart more easy and interesting through its different methodology designed with robust research. In a short span of time, it has earned the trust of more than 5, 00,000 learners from all over the world. At CultureAlley, the learning process is so informal that you can learn the chosen language while scrolling through Facebook which hits you right on the back of your mind and remains in your memory for long. Not only that, they have lollipops (rewards) after each challenge you fulfil which range from learning based on audio-visual lessons or based on games, which is pure fun.
Founded in the year 2012 by Aditi Avasthi, Embibe is a team of entrepreneurs who are curious about making a huge mark on the history of education. They work on the motto of “Every student deserves personal attention”. Embibe is an online portal for test preparation specially designed for engineering entrance examinations. The startup is based in Mumbai and is currently looking for expansion. To gain access, one needs to create a free account and then and there they can start practicing any chapter.
The test preparation portal, Embibe, recently received $4 million funding from Kalaari Capital and Lightbox Ventures. As per the founder, this fresh capital base will be used to strengthen the students and teachers base, developing by research more friendly and deep tests to improve the performance of students enrolled. Embibe also plans to offer the same set of services for medical preparations too.
Embibe claims to have over 15000 website users, as reported. Not only mentoring, they also have the section for doubt resolution which itself can prove to be a big tool for building confidence in students preparing for entrance examinations.
Simplilearn: Get Certified, Get Ahead
Launched in the year 2009 by Krishna Kumar, Simplilearn, as its name suggests, is an online education portal with the aim of simplifying the learning for working professionals. The website offers more than 400 courses in vivid areas including IT, digital marketing, programming, big data, and analytics etc. What does one look for while taking any course? Certificates and recognition, isn’t it? At Simplilearn you get the certificate which is well recognised for the course taken by you at different platforms.
Simplilearn raised $15 million in Series C funding in 2015 rising to a total funding of $28 million for various sources. The last round of capital funding was led by Mayfield Fund, with the participation of past investors Kalaari Capital and Helion Venture Partners.
As the reports suggest, since its inception more than 5, 00,000 people have been certified through various courses at Simplilearn.
Founded in the year 2012 by Kushal Bhagia and Kartik Aneja, alumni of BITS Pilani, the company Nayi Disha engages the pre-schoolers in various learning models. They make different involving educational applications for students all over the world. They build educational games which can be played on the computer for pre-schoolers to promote learning while playing using motion sense technology.
Education focusing start-up Nayi Disha Studios has been successful in raising Rs. 2 crores in seed level funding. The amount of investment is proposed to be used by the company to expand operations across the globe, particularly in the Middle East and Singapore.
Currently, according to team Nayi Disha, they are serving 50 schools across the nation including several schools in metros like Delhi, Bengaluru and non-metros and non-tier I cities like Jaipur and Baroda. As far as number of applications is concerned, they claim to have created 30 children friendly apps by now. The concept of motion sense technology alleviates the teachers from the burden of bringing kids to study as they are themselves more involved in the friendly process of education.
EduKart: courses for everyone
Founders’ being Mr. Ishaan Gupta, Mr. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, and Mr. Mayank Gupta, the app was founded in the year 2011 for the purpose of providing Indian and International courses such as MBA, Executive MBA, MSc, MCA, BA, BCom, BBA, and others. The website is known for online distance learning. It offers various undergraduate and post graduate courses for high school students including several degrees, diploma, courses for entrance examinations and certification courses from sundry recognised universities and other educational bodies.
The Delhi-based startup EduKart recently came into limelight for raising $1 million from various ventures including Holostik Group’s United Finsec, Yuvraj Singh’s YouWeCan Ventures, and others. EduKart is running partnership with more than 90 course providers to promote registrations in 2000 plus courses offered by it.
In its future plans, EduKart is working towards increasing the courses to 10000 from the current level of 2000 and also increase the course providers in partnership from 100 to 500.
Vedantu: Your Personal online teacher
Are you looking for online personalised teaching website while sitting at home? If yes, vedantu may be the right one to cater your needs. Founded in the year 2011 by Anand Prakash, Vamsi Krishna, Pulkit Jain, and Saurabh Saxena, vedantu aims to provide online tech-based education to students of grade 6 to 12 coming from various backgrounds. The unique feature about Vedantu is the option available with students to choose from a number of teachers accessible.
The startup Vedantu is based at Bengaluru and has raised $5 million from Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management. They bagged the funds just 6 months after they launched their new profile, a pivot from their earlier one.
Users have the option to choose from a variety of tools like whiteboard, use of audio and video technology for smooth intake of lectures. One can book any free demo session with any tutor before starting to avail the services. Even after depositing the fees, there is a provision of 100% cashback if the user isn’t satisfied with the quality of sessions.
Qriyo: An hour for a better you
Qriyo provide avenues for personal growth and development, by delivering wide range of courses at home. Founded in 2015, by two IIT Bombay Alumnus Mudit Jain & Rishabh Jain, Qriyo offers 300+ courses in academics, co-curricular, hobby classes and Yoga & general fitness categories.
The underlying idea behind QRIYO is to provide semi-customised courses at the residence of the learners by employing the trained instructors or Qriyo Gurus. If we view from the society’s interest, the start-up solves twin objective of generating employment and giving an opportunity to people at a large to develop the skill of their interest. Qriyo aims to make learning at home convenient and affordable. It employs freelance teachers and provides the learning at the doorstep of the recipient.
“A year ago, I was searching for suitable yoga classes at my doorstep. Even after going through numerous aggregators, cancelled appointments, endless phone numbers, I couldn’t find a perfect match as per my requirements. Not only it killed my time and motivation, it also didn’t solve the purpose. Only someone with high patience and motivation could spend their time searching for home based classes from the various website of aggregators”, says the founder Mudit Jain.This is how the idea of QRIYO arose.
Qriyo currently operates 6 cities including Jaipur, Jodhpur & Ahemdabad. Qriyo has dedicated apps for it’s 6000+ registered gurus and 2000+ customers. Through the app Home Tutors & Customers can Apply, Book and manage their courses and bookings. Qriyo also become first startup from rajasthan to raise a foreign investment at seed stage, when it raised investment from UAE based firm Idein Ventures.
Walnut Knowledge Solutions
We eat walnuts for boosting our memory. Hence, the name walnut is aptly placed to describe what walnut knowledge solutions have to offer. The Bangalore based start-up was found in the year 2011 by Sachin Ravi and Raghav Chakravarthy N.C with the motive of popularizing quizzes across schools, universities, and corporates. In words of the founders, success can be summed up in the following mantra: “Be resilient. Do not let failures and people’s comments bother you, channelize all that to action.” At walnut knowledge solutions, the team is working towards developing the curiosity in a child to learn and forming a habit through learning based on quizzes.
Having been featured in the leading newspaper, economic times in the past, the start-up walnuts knowledge solutions have trained over 900 children over the last two years through their “Quizshala” workshops. The founders believe in making a child aware of the options available and the environment so that their career choice is backed up by solid facts, awareness and understanding and not just random trial and error.
Various stakeholders in the Indian economy are trying to solve this one problem of illiteracy and lack of education. To leverage the same, entrepreneurs from sundry fields are coming up with their unique ideas to make a mark in the education sector of the economy by introducing more interesting and fruitful measures to ensure that education reaches the masses and becomes a tool rather than an obstacle. By the above list, we just tried to mirror the growing educational startups in the country which can be looked for in the forthcoming year. When are you booking your seat?