Educational technology, better known as EdTech refers to the combined use of computer hardware, software, and educational theory to enable learning. In the past 4-5 months, the coronavirus pandemic has left millions of students locked inside their homes and it is EdTech that has been very vocal in imparting education to them.
Even before the pandemic, many students had switched to learning online and this sector is set to grow rapidly over the years. We bring before you the Top 10 EdTech Startups in India, the nation where EdTech has emerged as a major business industry.
Their main product is the mobile App named BYJU’S-The Learning App launched in August 2015. It provides educational content mainly to school students from Grade 1 to 12 (primary to higher secondary level education). The company also prepares students for Indian examinations such as IIT-JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS as well as for international examinations such as GRE and GMAT.
BYJU’S claims to have 57 Million users overall, 3.5 Million annual paid subscribers, and an annual retention rate of about 85%. The app IS designed in a way so as to adapt to the individual student’s learning pace and style. The average student spends 53 minutes daily using BYJU’S.
The company announced that it will launch its app in regional Indian languages and an international version of the app as well for English-speaking students in other countries in 2019. Recently, Byju’s launched new programs in its Early Learn App for students of LKG and UKG as well.
1. Byju’s had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Mary Meeker’s BOND Capital in June 2020.
2. New York-based Tiger Global Management had invested US$200 Million Byju’s in 2020.
3. BYJU’S received seed funding from Aarin Capital in 2013.
4. In 2019, BYJU’S secured nearly US$785 Million in funding from investors, including Sequoia Capital India, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), Tencent, Sofina, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Verlinvest(Brussels), IFC (development finance institution), Napsters Ventures, CPPIB, and General Atlantic.
5. BYJU’S was the first company in Asia to receive an investment from Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative (co-funded by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan).
Honours and Recognition :
1. EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award – Start-up – 2018 VC Circle Awards for Education Company of the year (2016, 2018, 2019)
2. Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India and Fast 500 Asia Award Year (2012-2017 and 2019)
3. NASSCOM Design4India Design Award 2018 for the ‘Best Design’- Mobile Category
4. Business Standard– Start-up of the year 2017
5. Express IT Awards for IT newsmaker of the year 2017
In July 2017, Think and Learn bought TutorVista (including Edurite) from Pearson.
In January 2019, BYJU’S acquired US-based Osmo, a creator of educational games for children aged 3–8 years for US$ 120 Million.
BYJU’S was declared a unicorn in 2018 and is valued at US$8 Billion as per latest reports.
Unacademy is an Indian online education technology company headquartered in Bangalore, India. The EdTech startup was founded by Roman Saini, Gaurav Munjal and Hemesh Singh. Originally created as a YouTube channel in 2010 by Gaurav Munjal it, later on, registered itself as a company in 2015. The company has a network of over 12,000 educators including Kiran Bedi, India’s first woman IPS officer and now the Governor of Pondicherry. They offer preparation material for several professional and educational entrance exams. Unacademy lessons are imparted on its Unacademy Learning App in the form of free videos and via subscription.
1. In February 2020, Unacademy secured Series E funding of US$110 Million from US private equity firm General Atlantic, social networking giant Facebook, Nexus Ventures, Blume Ventures, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy among others, and holds an evaluation of US$510 Million.
4. Series-A investment of US$4.5M from Tracxn Labs, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, WaterBridge Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Blume Ventures, Girish Mathrubootham, Kunal Shah, Nexus Venture Partners, Sachin Bansal, Sandeep Tandon, Stanford Angels and Entrepreneurs, Tashish Tulsian in January 2017.
5. Seed Funding of US$1M from Sumit Jain, Sachin Bansal, Sandeep Tandon, Sujeet Kumar, Waterbridge Ventures, Sandeep Tandon, Tracxn Labs, Blume Ventures, Ashish Tulsian, Vikas Malpani, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Phanindra Sama, Kunal Shah in August 2016.
Honours and Recognition :
All the three founders were recognized in the Forbes India 30 Under 30 List, an annual list of India’s brightest young stars, in 2018.
1. Unacademy acquired online exam preparation platform Kreatryx in 2020.
2. It had also acquired Jaipur-based online exam preparation platform WifiStudy in 2018.
Toppr is an online learning platform and a product of Topper Technologies Pvt. Ltd. It was launched in February 2013 by IITB (Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay) Alumni – Zishaan Hayath (Co-founder, CEO) and Hemanth Goteti (Co-founder, CTO). It is headquartered in Mumbai.
Toppr is widely known as a platform where students can prepare for various entrance exams like JEE Main, NEET, AIIMS (All India Institutes of Medical Sciences), Chartered Accountancy Foundation Course, and CLAT (Law Entrance Exam). It mainly provides services to students from Grade 5 to 12 of CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) in India. The main attraction of the startup is live doubt solving for Physics, Chemistry, Maths, English, and test preparation for Engineering, Medical, and Commerce entrance exams.
2. In October 2015, Toppr raised US$2 Million in venture-debt from InnoVen Capital.
4. In December 2018, Toppr raised $35 Million from its existing investors and Kaizen Management Advisors Pvt. Ltd.
5. In June 2020, Kaizen funded Toppr with an extra capital of US$19.7 Million.
Honours and Recognition:
1. In June 2018, Toppr was named as one of the winners of the Tyton Global Growth Awards for “Top 50 International Education Companies”.
2. In January 2018, Toppr was named Best EdTech company in IAMAI – India Digital Awards.
3. Awarded “Best Educational Website” in IAMAI Awards 2018.
4. Recognized as “Best In Education Industry” by AWS Mobility Awards 2017.
5. Named among the “Top 20 Startups” EdTechX Global Awards 2017.
1. In 2015, Toppr acquired EasyPrep, which was also an online learning platform.
2. In 2016, Toppr acquired Manch, which was a test preparation platform for school and college students.
4. Next Education
Next Education is a K-12 focused technology-based education solutions company. It is based in Hyderabad and was founded by Beas Ralhan, Raveendranath Kamath and Kedar Choudhary in 2007. The startup has created innovative solutions that make teaching – simple, engaging and effective. It has various leading products such as TeachNext, NextLab, NextCurriculum and NextERP are used in over 12,000+ schools across country transforming the lives of more than 12 million students. Next Education products are designed to cover CBSE, ICSE and 29 state boards in 7 major Indian languages.
Next Education’s power lies in its Research & Development that is conducted in-house. Features such as CCE compliance, 2D/3D animation, Linux-based OS to lower the overall cost of ownership & the remotely-operable system are some of the key strengths of this product. The learning modules have been created by the company’s in-house content development team using modern learning design ethics with its patented Next Learning model and have undergone rigorous testing on and off the ground. With excellent onsite service support, periodic teacher training, and management reporting on content usage, Next Education aims to bring the future of education to the schools in India.
1. Former online poker entrepreneur Anurag Dixit invested US$60M in Next Education in 2014.
Honors and Recognition:
1. Innovation in Teaching Pedagogy award at World Education Summit 2012.
2. Best Multimedia Content for K–12 Education at World Education Summit 2013.
3. Excellent Human Resource Management in Education Industry by National HRD Network.
4. Best Digital K–12 Multimedia Content for Maharashtra State Board in English and Marathi by Wisitex World Education.
5. Best School Books Solution Award at Global Learn Tech Conference and Awards.
6. Best Emerging School ERP award at Digital Edge ICT Conclave on Education.
7. Innovation in Teaching Pedagogy award at World Education Summit 2015.
8. Innovation Excellence Award in Education by ASSOCHAM.
9. Pre-school Pedagogy award at the World Education Summit 2016
1. Next Education acquired Xolvr, an online one-to-one learning platform that connects students from grades 6 to 12 with undergraduate IIT students, in December 2016.
2. It had acquired InOpen, an online education platform, in February 2016.
Meritnation.com is India’s largest online learning portal for school students. They cater to the learning needs of students of Grade 1 to 12. Meritnation was founded in 2009 by Pavan Chauhan and Ritesh Hemrajani and is based in New Delhi. The company is a division of Applect Learning Systems Pvt. Ltd. The startup has over 7.6 Million users who study using Live Classes, Animated Videos, Interactive exercises, Practise Problems, Tests & more. Meritnation.com currently has a curriculum designed for Major boards like CBSE & ICSE as well as State boards like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka & Kerala.
1. Aakash Educational bought Meritnation for US$6.6 Million in return of a 66% stake in the company in 2020.
2. Info Edge which owns Naukri.com has funded Meritnation with around US$17.7 Million till date.
Honours and Recognition :
1. Meritnation.com received the “Best Online Tutoring Award (National)” at the prestigious Indian Education Congress Awards – 2015.
2. It has also won the “Best Education Website” award at the 4th India Digital Awards organized by the Internet & Mobile Association Of India (IAMAI).
6. Leverage Edu
Leverage Edu is one of the world’s fastest-growing university admission service. The startup was founded in 2017 by Akshay Chaturvedi and is based in New Delhi. Students starting Grade 8 onwards can engage with global business and social leaders as part of Leverage Edu’s praised mentorship product, which helps them realize their unique strengths through career workshops, assessments, and online plus offline activities. Students going for university admissions can use Leverage Edu’s AI tool to decide what programs or colleges they are best suited for, and be coordinated to Leverage Experts for an on-demand, comprehensive and 1:1 virtual career guidance.
The platform brings together 2000+ Mentors from around the world today, who hail from top global colleges like Stanford, NYU, Oxford, MIT, Yale, Harvard, and wide-varying experience firms like Goldman Sachs, Apple, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Amazon, Facebook, McKinsey & Co., Tesla, and more. Post successful admissions, Leverage students are assisted with exclusive scholarships, industry-best educational loans, help on housing, VISA and more.
2. It obtained a capital of US $1.5 M again from DSG Consumer Partners and Blume Ventures in 2020.
Honours and Recognition :
NoPaperForms is an enrolment management solution provider that helps institutions computerize their marketing and admission processes from inquiry till enrolment. Founded in 2016 by Naveen Goyal and is based in Gurugram, Haryana. They have partnered with over 252+ institutions to integrate their leads and admission inquiries on a single platform, help them encourage those leads with smart marketing automation and real-time activity-based lead profiling. They have an innovative application form management solution with the help of which schools and colleges can create online application forms in present, and instantly start receiving applications by machine. They are the only Ed-tech company, which is a registered requester with DigiLocker – A Digital India initiative of the Government of India.
Quizizz is a learning platform that helps teachers turn homework and tests into self-paced games. It combines games with self-paced questions and instant feedback to help students learn. Teachers can use their own content or choose from millions of educator-created quizzes. Students can use the platform from any device.
It was founded by Ankit Gupta and Deepak Joy Cheenath in 2015 and is based in Bengaluru. They started their journey by working with unprivileged students at a non-profit school in Bengaluru and worked meticulously with the teachers and students on different ideas and launched the startup based on their work experience with the students. The startup is very popular in the US and boasts of 10 Million active users.
Doubtnut is an interactive online tutoring platform. It was started by Tanushree Nagori and husband Aditya Shankar in 2016. The startup is based in Gurugram, Haryana. The couple had started giving offline classes to Grade 9 to 12 students, where they taught mathematics and science. Doubtnut is available as an Android application or by accessing its official website. It is a multi-lingual online learning platform.
The platform uses image recognition technologies to provide answers to math and science questions. To find the solution to a question, one has to upload an image showing the question. The app extracts text from the image and tries to match it in its record of questions which are pre-answered with recorded video solutions. If it finds a match, then the result is provided to the user otherwise it asks the user to post their question publicly for teachers available on the platform to provide a video explaining his/her question.
10. Camp K12
Camp K12 is an online learning platform that teaches coding and STEAM subjects- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics with a focus on Arts as well to students aged between 5-18.
They also provide entrepreneurship development programs to the students. Camp K12 has collaborated with 100+ schools to impart education and encourage them to become great trendsetters. To date, it has taught almost 50,000+ students. Their teaching sessions are live, interactive, and gamified which they feel are better than the traditional online platforms available on the internet.
There are several other EdTech startups in India with their very own innovations and services. It is to be seen whether the above mentioned Top 10 EdTech startups retain their position in the coming years or are replaced by other emerging startups.
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