Top five EdTech startups in India
Education has been the keyword for the IT based startups of late. The availability of smartphones at an affordable price and comparatively low price for internet access has made the possibility of imparting education anywhere anytime. EdTech has been the buzzword and there are many startups in India engaged in this arena of online education. We will have a look at the best EdTech platforms in this article.
EdTech startups have been on the rise over the last one year. There are both sorts of businesses here – those who want to make money and those who come under the non profit category (Khan Academy is a classic example of the latter category). There has been considerable funding in the space. 2015 saw as much as Rs. 2000 crore worth of funding in the EdTech space. We have picked 5 best EdTech firms and we will dig a little deeper into their functionality in the following paragraphs.
Founders - Anand Prakash, Vamsi Krishna, Pulkit Jain and Saurabh Saxena
Website - www.vedantu.com
It is an online education platform that caters to personalized coaching. They have developed several in house products. The coaching involves a one to one approach just like you would expect in a traditional educational institute. The platform boasts of many better options compared to the large number of Open schooling platforms. Vedantu has live tuitions, Two way interaction and flexible schedules to stay ahead. The students can choose a teacher based on their needs. They can have a live interaction with the teacher in addition to accessing class recordings and effective audio-video technology.
Started in the year 2011, Vedantu has a faclty that boasts of the teachers coming from IITs, NITs and IIScs. It has raised a funding of $ 5 million from Tiger Global and Accel.
Founder - Krishna Kumar
Website - www.simplilearn.com
Simplilearn is the largest certification company in the world. However, it does not cater to the formal education. It helps professionals to get trained in certification courses. Started in 2009, Simplilearn has customers from across 150 nations around the world. It offers training in more than 400 courses. The teaching panel consists of industry experts who themselves have established themselves in the concerned field of excellence.
The major courses offered are in Data Science, Project Management, digital marketing, SEO and SEM among others. The platform has its mobile apps on Android and iOS. It raised a funding of $ 25 million from Helion, Kalaari and Mayfield in 2015.
Founder - Pavan Chauhan
Website - www.meritnation.com
MeritNation is the largest and the most popular education portal. It was started in 2009 and boasts of a user base of over one crore. The site has affiliation to major boards like ICSE and CBSE. It also has tie ups with state boards as well. The platform works best with CBSE, ICSE, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu boards.
MeritNation also provides preparation material for entrance exams for Engineering, Medical and other professional courses. The students registered to the platform get free access to NCERT text material. The course material constitutes audio-video based technological tutorials, tests and interactive sessions to improve yourself by paying special attention to your weak points. MeritNation has its own apps on Android and iOS platforms.
It raised a $ 15 million worth of funding in 2015 from InfoEdge.
Founders - Hemanth Goteti, Zishan Hayat
Website - www.toppr.com
Toppr is a popular EdTech firm if your main concern is to prepare for entrance examinations. The platform specialised in preparations for Engineering, Medical and IIT-JEE curriculum. The site began its operations in 2013. Students registered on the platform can complete unlimited number of tests and get reports on their performance. They can self ascertain their rankings. The youngest EdTech firm already has registered around 7,00,000 students. The strength of the site lies in the fact that it provides you with unlimited self tests along with the course material. Any doubt a student may have are personally attended by a Web chat. This gives a personal touch to the learning exercise.
The platform has courses for foundation classes as well, though their main area of focus remains entrance examination preparations. The foundation courses begin with standard 8. Toppr also has apps for Android and iOS platforms to aid in ANYTIME learning. The platform has raised a funding of $ 12 million from SAIF. Helion and Fidelity Growth.
Founders - Neeharika Bhartiya, Nishant Patni and Pranshu Bhandari.
Website - www.culturealley.com
CultureAlley is a unique EdTech platform in itself. It is a free education initiative. The startup was founded in 2012. It offers you a self learning pattern for mastering the subjects.
The service has a popular app under its kitty. The Hello English is the best English teacher. The app has been treated as the the most famous Android app for learning. Hello English lets you master the art of spoken and written English from around 15 different languages.
The platform is well known for its interactive and well formulated course material. CultureAlley has lots of experts on its panel consisting of linguists from across the world. The site has its major interest in developing language skills especially, English. The platform has raised a funding of $ 6.5 million from Tiger Global and Kae Capital in 2015.
Any other alternatives?Well, the EdTech space has been seeing an unprecedented growth in recent times. There are many alternatives apart from the popular ones featured above - both global and Indian. A couple of such are UpGrad and UnAcademy.
UpGrad is meant for the professionals who are working, and want to gain knowledge and education in their concerned field. The platform is quite youngest which was started in the year 2015. It offers special high end courses across various fields like Product Management, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship etc. The course fees too are steeper. For instance, a 15 week course in Entrepreneurship costs around Rs. 50,000. The platform is best for those professionals who want to upgrade their knowledge in the field of their profession. For more information, log on to www.UpGrad.com.
Founded by Ronnie Screw Wala, UpGrad has a highly qualified faculty who are industry experts in the fields concerned. The service offers you live and interactive learning experience along with one to one support for all your needs.
UnAcademy is founded by Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini. The best part with the service is its totally free nature. The founder Roman Saini says,
" ....is specifically made for ....who cannot afford coaching and are left behind..."
UnAcademy emphasises on coaching for civil services examinations. They have, in fact, proved themselves as 10 of their students have cleared the exams this year. Roman Saini himself has been a super angel when it comes to academic excellence and has been coaching IAS aspirants for the past three years. You can reach them on www.unacademy.in.
And in conclusion...The EdTech space is expected to grow further in the coming years. A good rate of internet penetration - at least in the urban area - has been instrumental in making them a success. Aimed at changing the face of education in India, Online Education is here to stay. Featured above were some of the few premier EdTech portals serving the Indian consumers. If my readers find any other alternatives than the ones featured in this article, I would invite them to come up with your comments here below.
Very informative Timmappa. Excellent read!