Ed Tech: The silver lining in India’s digital sphere
When other sectors in the country were grounded due to the Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions, the one sector that thrived was online education. As millions of students were confined to the four walls of their homes due to the closure of the schools and colleges, online learning and e-education platforms saw astonishing adoption and exponential growth. India’s online education sector is riding high on parents and students’ demand for online learning. With more than 1.5 billion students grounded due to the coronavirus in India, Ed-tech has become a rising sector, replacing the traditional set-ups. As the year 2021 saw the stupendous rise of the Ed-Tech sector, its sudden growth caught the investors’ eyes. As the acceptance grew in urban India, some entrepreneurs saw the need and potential that tier 2 markets contained for the longest. While others switched from e-learning to education support and re-engineered the models like education counselling and dedicated exam training to focus on the much-ignored facets of the crippled education system. While the holistic growth of the ed-tech sector has benefited the stakeholders, some players are indeed on the watchlist for the year 2022.
Meet the ed-tech startups that have seen massive growth amid the Covid-19.
BYJU’S, India’s largest ed-tech company, acquired the 33-year-old coaching institute chain Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) for nearly $940 million worth of cash and stock. It was one of the largest acquisitions by the ed-tech company in India. BYJU’S is India’s most loved school learning app, which offers highly adaptive, engaging, and effective learning programs for students in LKG, UKG, classes 1 -12 (K-12), and competitive exams JEE, NEET, and IAS. BYJU’S launched its flagship product, BYJU’S – The Learning App, for classes 4-12 in 2015. The app has over 75 million registered students and 5.2 million annual paid subscriptions. With an average time of 71 minutes being spent by a student on the app every day from more than 1700 cities, the app is creating a whole new way of learning through visual lessons.
Vedantu is the leader in the K-12 LIVE tutoring space. Each month, over 35 million users access Vedantu through its app and web for free. The platform has continued to pioneer in the space with several first-time innovations that include WAVE, its proprietary LIVE teaching platform, and the 2-teacher model. Vedantu offers tutoring courses to young students from 3 years old to 18 years old and preparation for competitive exams such as IIT-JEE, NEET, Commerce, CBSE, ICSE, and state exams such as Maharashtra boards. Through its newest offering and fastest-growing vertical, SuperKids, it offers extracurricular classes like English Speaking, Reading, and Coding.
Unacademy is an Indian educational technology company based in Bangaluru. Created as a YouTube channel in 2010 by Gaurav Munjal, the company was founded by Munjal along with Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh in 2015. The company has a network of over 5,00,000 registered educators and offers preparation material for several professional and educational entrance exams. Unacademy lessons are in the form of live classes, both free and via subscription.
Toppr has thoughtfully designed the platform to ensure a one-stop after-school learning platform. It has more than 1.5 million learning pieces, including adaptive practice questions, solutions, concepts, and videos that seamlessly combine to give 3600 learning. The platform uses artificial intelligence-based machine learning algorithms on top of this robust infrastructure to create personalised learning paths for millions of students. It enables students to prepare for competitive examinations across the streams, including engineering, medical, commerce, and other scholarship tests.
Founded in 2015, upGrad is India’s largest online higher education company providing data science, technology, management, and law programs to students, working professionals, and enterprises. Every program is designed and delivered in collaboration with top universities like the IIT Madras, MICA, NMIMS Global Access, Jindal Global Law School, Duke CE, Deakin University, Liverpool John Moores University, and others. upGrad has onboarded over 40,000 paid learners while impacting more than a million individuals globally. IIIT Bangalore and upGrad’s collaborated program of PG Diploma in Data Science is India’s first-ever PG Diploma to be recommended and validated by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and government-approved National Occupational Standards (NOS).
Extramarks is among the fastest-growing educational technology companies with a global footprint. The company has a vast presence in India, South Africa, Indonesia, and the Middle East. Extramarks has revolutionised how education is perceived and delivered, custom-creating learning solutions for 21st-century learners. It is a team of exceptional academics, technology experts and visualisers, who help simplify textbook learning through rich media-based modules. The efforts are supported by a 2000 strong sales team, present pan-India, which allows them to reach directly to the final consumer. Extramarks was founded in 2007 by Mr. Atul Kulshrestha, the visionary and transformative mind who has been leading the disruptions in the ed-tech domain from the front. In the past decade, a family of more than 3500 employees has come together to carry forth the Extramarks mission. They have it all from pre-school to extensive K12 coverage, going over to higher studies and competitive exams. Extramarks Smart Coaching Centres are present in 17 cities, with 23 centres providing coaching for IIT-JEE, NEET, and Foundation courses, through the latest classroom technology and India’s top faculty.
Meritnation is India’s first online learning platform for school students, with over 2.5 crore students across CBSE, ICSE, and leading state boards. It is a part of the prestigious AESL group (Aakash Educational Services Limited), a leading educational institution in India that provides comprehensive test preparatory services for students preparing for Medical and Engineering Entrance Examinations, School/Board Exams, and Competitive Exams such as NTSE, KVPY, and Olympiads. Meritnation was founded in 2009 by IIM graduates, who were led by the belief that every child is unique and has specific learning needs. They sought to harness the power of technology to deliver personalised & engaging content to nurture the student’s learning curve. Today, Meritnation’s Live Class platform connects the best teachers in India with students from the comfort of their homes.
AdmitKard’s mission is to guide students through the college application process. The platform has everything you need to eliminate your worries about universities and courses. The platform recommends the best universities based on data-backed algorithms, and users can apply to these universities with a few clicks from the same platform. The platform also recommends relevant current international students, called Mentors, who can provide real-experience sharing of their journey to studying abroad. Students get end-to-end guidance from availing of the best education loans, academic and language test preparations, profile building, accommodation services, and financial services.
Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalised learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. Khan Academy tackles math, science, computing, history, art history, economics, and more, including K-14 and test preparation (SAT, Praxis, LSAT) content. Millions of students from all over the world, each with their own unique story, learn at their own pace at Khan Academy every day. The resources are being translated into more than 36 languages in addition to the Spanish, French, Brazilian, Portuguese versions.
Udemy, Inc. is a for-profit massive open online course (MOOC) provider aimed at professional adults and students. It was founded in May 2010 by Eren Bali, Gagan Biyani, and Oktay Caglar. As of September- 2021, the platform has more than 46 million students, 175,000 courses, and 60,000 instructors teaching courses in over 75 languages. There have been over 644 million course enrollments. Students take courses primarily to improve job-related skills. Some courses generate credit toward technical certification. Udemy has made a special effort to attract corporate trainers seeking to create coursework for employees of their company. The headquarters of Udemy is located in San Francisco, US, with hubs in Denver, US, Dublin, Ireland, Ankara, Turkey, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and Gurugram in India.
Coconut learning offers cost-efficient solutions for educational institutes, businesses, and examination centres to go online. Powered by UK-based Ocxee Ltd, Coconut learning is an Ed-Tech startup founded by Meet Kotadia. It came into existence after hard work and determination to provide the best education solution to B2B customers and students. Their bespoke white-label online learning platforms give access to a scalable and cost-effective solution to online learning, with built-in features to keep track of the learners’ progress and results.
Digikull is an Ed-tech startup that offers certified technical courses for a fee after placement, and various development courses ranging in length from 17 to 32 weeks. The brand has achieved nearly 100 percent placement for its highly skilled batches. The startup is designed to meet the needs of both candidates and corporations. The idea is to provide candidates with flexible pay after placement opportunities as well as skilled labour to corporations.
Vidyakul is a vernacular e-learning platform that assists state board students with academic learning through pre-recorded and live lectures. Vidyakul’s mission is to bridge the gap between students and teachers across India by developing an online platform that connects students with renowned teachers for quality, integrated, interactive learning. Vidyakul strives to provide a perfect online platform for students, parents, and teachers to solve all of their online learning and teaching problems.
Pariksha, a vernacular ed-tech startup, is addressing the massive issue of access and affordability of outcome-based education for Bharat’s mobile-first internet users. Pariksha is attempting to address the needs of students in India’s tier 2 and tier 3 cities who are preparing for government jobs but lack access to computers, study materials, and mentorship. It covers material for government exams in various fields, including teaching, banking, defence, and railways.
Classplus is an Ed-Tech startup company transforming the world of education by powering educationalists with the digital tools and resources that help them become future-ready. Their industry-first unified platform lets coaching institutes have their app to manage all their tasks and reach lakhs of students across the country with our next-level technology. So far, over 1 Lakh coaching institutes across 1,100+ Indian cities have successfully set up their online business through apps built by Classplus.
Wonderslate is an educational deliverance, digital publishing, and test preparation platform allowing the community of students, teachers, and publishers to learn, publish and share content the smart way, from anywhere, at any time. Authors can publish their books and make them available to readers online. The platform provides an online store where these publications will be sold, and it does not need any investment from the publisher and author. Moreover, Wonderslate offers a next-gen learning platform offering smart ebooks to prepare for competitive exams in almost every field (IIT-JEE entrance exams, Banking exams, Railways exams, etc.)
Founded in 2018 by Mamta Kumari and Aditya Bhusan Verma, PrepBytes was started with a mission to help students find the best placements. It helps students bridge the gap between them and their placements, preparations targeting software development and engineering, analyst & product based roles in IT, internet, and analytics companies. The startup is run by a team of graduates from IITs/NITs having vast work experience. Prepbytes has more than 4,000 paid customers, has reached more than 1,000 colleges, registered 1284% growth in registered users from 2020 to 2021, and has over 100k reach in social media channels.
Launched in 2017, BoardInfinity runs on one motive: to unify all platforms for all early-career needs to build ultra-personalised career journeys. It is a holistic platform connecting career aspirants, institutes to top industry coaches and companies for career guidance, focused training, and opportunities. BroadInfinity was founded by Sumesh Nair, CEO, and Abhay Gupta, CFO. The level of personalisation that Boardinfinity caters enables its learners (users) to get hired by 500 top-class recruiters such as Amazon, Sony Liv, Capgemini, etc.
ExtraaEdge is an early startup launched in 2016, which is a data science-driven sales and marketing software developed for educational institutes. It focuses on increasing student enrollment and optimising the marketing cost via automation and analytics. It is currently powering 250+ educational institutes with the cloud computing solution. It enables educational institutes to automate, streamline and manage their student enrolment funnel. Also, through behaviour analytics, institutes can measure their ROI during the critical admission period. ExtraaEdge was founded by Abhishek Ballabh, CEO, and Sunil Mundada, COO.
Kanan International Pvt. Ltd. (KIPL) was established in the year 1996. KIPL has 19 years of rich experience and is a pioneer in Global Education for countries like the USA, CANADA, UK & NZ, Immigration for CANADA, QUEBEC (CANADA) & AUSTRALIA. Kanan Academy provides coaching for various International Exams like IELTS, TOEFL-iBT, GRE, GMAT, SAT, Spoken English classes to enhance the student’s language. Headquartered in Vadodara, it has 8 Centers operating in different cities and towns spread in Gujarat State.
Practically is India’s first experimental learning app designed to make Learning immersive for students of classes 6-12 with a focus on STEM learning. Practically secured a strategic investment of $5 Million from NB Ventures (UAE), Earlsfield Capital (UK), Almoe Group of Companies (UAE), and Ncubate Capital (the investment arm of The SAR Group) in the run-up to raising Series B funding early next year. The company has previously raised $9Mn funding from prominent investors like YourNest Venture Capital, Exfinity Ventures, and Siana Capital, and with the current round, the total investment raised stands at $14M. Practically is the only experiential learning app that brings learning alive through immersive videos, interactive augmented reality, and 3D simulations. It offers an edge over other learning apps by enhancing conceptual understanding and improving retention of concepts with features like life-like video content, hands-on Learning, experiential Learning, live classes, coding++, and AI assistant. It also has a 24×7 Seek Help feature for doubt resolution, where students can reach out to subject experts on the platform. More than 3.30 lakh students have already started benefiting from the engaging content on Practically.
HiVoco Play is the world’s first voice interactive animated stories app. Now your child will not only watch the most amazing stories but also interact with the characters and get a 360-degree view of the whole story through their 5W1H story-based learning module. The app is designed to give the viewers the experience of Voice-Interactive Stories. HiVoco celebrates the stories of India – Mythology, Folktales, Funny Stories, History & Legends. Along with this, the interactive Storytelling format gives children the opportunity to become friends of Krishna, Ganesha, Bheem, Rama, and together they can solve various problems and learn the correct values. There are amazing quizzes, riddles, and puzzles for kids; learn and answer questions about Indian History, Science, Mental Math; play Quizzes about Indian Festivals, Popular Books & Characters, and spend time learning new things.
Mohan Lakhamraju and Hari Krishnan Nair conceived Great Learning in 2013 to deliver high-quality blended learning outcomes in Analytics, Data Science, AI, Deep Learning, Cloud Computing, and Machine Learning. Recently, Great Learning expanded its offerings to include Cybersecurity, Software Development, and Business programs. Keeping in mind the importance of constant skill development to stay relevant, they crafted these programs with Stanford GSB (Executive Education), Stanford Center for Professional Development, McCombs School of Business (UT Austin), and the Great Lakes Institute of Management. A team of over 1,000 faculty members and mentors, including the country’s top Data Science experts, conducts programs across India. What’s more, they also work with students from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa, Australia, the US, and the UK. To date, Great Learning has delivered more than 7 million hours of learning to thousands of students.
Collegedunia Web Pvt Ltd. has successfully established itself as a leading educational portal, India’s largest review platform, and an extensive search engine for students, parents, and education industry players seeking information on the higher education sector in India and abroad. Since 2014, Collegedunia has been committed to helping students and parents with authentic information on more than 27,000 colleges, more than 7000 courses, over 350 exams segmented in streams like Management, Engineering, Medical, Arts, and much more. Collegedunia aims to help students make the right decision, hence offering over 2,00,000 bonafide College Reviews. Within five years, Collegedunia has an average of 10 lakh sessions daily and aims to multiply the number in the coming future.
In 2030, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics will touch 800 Million jobs; the world will split into creators and consumers. WhiteHat Jr makes kids creators in the new world. WhiteHat Jr is India’s #1 Live online 1:1/1:4 platform for coding, math, and music. Kids learn logic, structure, sequence, and algorithmic thinking to generate creative outcomes like animations and apps. All classes are taught via a Live Online platform connecting top certified teachers to children. Launched in 2018, WhiteHat Jr is one of the fastest-growing EdTech businesses in India, now expanding fast into global markets, including the US, UK, Latin America, Australia, and Indonesia.