The rise in homegrown ed-tech startups in India

With the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown that saw schools and colleges close their doors, online learning emerged as the next big thing to watch out for.

India’s biggest edtech startups – BYJU’S, Unacademy, Upgrad, Vedantu etc saw their numbers grow at a rapid pace.

2020 saw India’s edtech startups raise over $2.2 billion in funding, with BYJU’S alone accounting for $1.35 billion. While BYJU’s went on to become the world’s most valued edtech startup, Unacademy joined with over $2 billion.The startup had been growing ever since its collaboration with Disney in 2019 to make learning fun for young students.

Edtech has seen phenomenal growth in the addressable market, users, paid subscribers, and, most importantly, revenue. Since the lockdown was announced in March, BYJU’S added 33 Mn users to a cross user base of 75 Mn, Unacademy user base tripped to 40 Mn. Similar growth was witnessed by other edtech companies as the market size has increased. Along with academic curriculum, there are ed-tech companies that are also catering to the needs for professional education and skill upgradation of the work force.

Almost all platforms which offer e-learning services to students and working professionals have are making a huge splash on television and digital.

Companies such as Byju’s has Shah Rukh Khan, GradeUp has Kartik Aaryan, upGrad has Vicky Kaushal and Great Learning has Virat Kohli and they are also riding on celebrity endorsements for better recall and reach.

But recently edtech apps have been seen marketing new-age courses like Coding, AI, Animation, App Development, Game Designing and Machine Learning to even six year olds along with young students & professionals.

Platforms that provide such courses are WhiteHat Jr, Toppr Codr, Vedantu Super Coders and Unacademy, with some of them specifically designed for younger students.

With their campaign ‘Better Learning Better Results’, Toppr aimed at encouraging students to understand, reason and question for better learning outcomes. TV, Digital and print media were used for promoting the campaign. Digital was a key channel for this campaign and they were live on all major platforms and started our digital marketing campaign before TV. This helped them gain insights on the performance of each creative with various kinds of audience and helped them refine their TV plan.

Some ed-tech start-ups are:

  1. BYJU’S

BYJU’S is a school learning app which offers highly adaptive, engaging and effective learning programs for students from classes K-12 and competitive exams like JEE, NEET and IAS. BYJU’S launched its flagship product, BYJU’S – The Learning App, for classes 4-12 in 2015. Today, the app has over 64 million registered students and 4.2 million annual paid subscriptions.

  • Unacademy

Unacademy is an Indian online education technology company based in Bangalore. It was originally created as a YouTube channel in 2010 by Gaurav Munjal. As a company, it was founded by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh in 2015, and is headquartered in Bangalore. The company has a network of over 18,000 educators and offers preparation material for professional and educational entrance exams. The lessons are in the form of live classes, both free and via subscription. In a span of 6 months, over 300,000 students have benefited from over 2,400 online lessons and specialised courses on cracking various competitive examinations, on our platform.

  • Vedantu

Vedantu is a live interactive online learning platform for students. It offers individual and group classes delivered by experienced Master Teachers in a live real-time, virtual learning through their patented platform. The indigenous platform built for revolutionising online learning captures 70+ parameters, helps drive high engagement and interaction in virtual class and give students their personalised learning reports to help them understand the knowledge gaps. Students can also access free content, take tests, and play LIVE quiz every day.

  • Upgrad

Founded in early 2015, upGrad has on-boarded over 34.5K paid learners and impacted around 8 lakh individuals globally within a short span of 5 years. It provides online programs in the areas of Data Science, Technology, Management and Law to college students, working professionals and enterprises. These programs are designed and delivered in collaboration with top-notch universities like IIT Madras, IIIT Bangalore, MICA, NMIMS Global Access, Jindal Global Law School, Duke CE, Deakin University, Liverpool John Moores University and others.

  • Whitehat Jr

An EdTech start-up founded by ex-Discovery Networks CEO Karan Bajaj, Whitehat Jr offers a range of artificial intelligence course options designed for children 6-14, thereby preparing them for the new digital world. It focuses on using a systematic approach to help school-going children learn the fundamentals of AI programming, Python machine learning, and more.

  • Toppr

Toppr is an after-school learning app on a mission to make learning personalised. It caters to the individual learning styles of candidates and provides the widest K12 syllabus coverage with thousands of course combinations. It currently has over 11 million students on its platform and helps them prepare for various school, board, and competitive exams. It uses natural language processing to solve student doubts instantly. It also uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data to study student behaviour and create adaptive learning paths with infinite combinations.

Along with the pandemic, what also helped the Indian market for edtech products and services to grow was the deep and relatively fast penetration of high-speed internet coupled with the easy availability of smartphones. The youth is driving the adoption of edtech products and services.

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