Anubhav Jain and Dhruv Bhushan go back a long way. They met each other in 2006 during their management days at the Indian Institute of Management, Indore. They have collaborated on various academic projects and won many B-plan competitions, including the National Title of the Case Study titled ‘The Deal’ by JPMorgan Chase. Since then, they have worked on a couple of entrepreneurial ventures together as well. OurOwnBook, a National Record making venture in the online literary space was one of them.
In 2011, the duo founded Excelsior Education, a skill development venture. “As part of Excelsior, we reached out to more than 100,000 students from 100+ institutions,” says Anubhav. And now, learning from their experience, they are pivoting to StudyBud.
StudyBud is an online study and assessment platform for developing key skills required for career success. As they put it, StudyBud = Coursera (Learning) + Assessment (Tests/Practice) + Analytics (Dashboards) for Online/Classroom Education.
“The need for growth and scalability led us to expand our offerings into online space and hence came StudyBud,” says Anubhav. StudyBud has the following features for its users:
For a Student/Working Professional-
1. Provides learning modules in multiple languages
2. Has Instructor Driven Learning with concepts and examples moulded in one
3. Provides a strong testing platform with customizable quizzes and sample papers with 50+ metrics and 20+ levers
For an Educational Institution-
1. It provides Company/Subject/Skill/Examination specific assessment which the institution can define to suit its day-to-day needs
2. Provides a strong Admin dashboard with various metrics like Accuracy, Speed, Course Completion, Preparedness Level, Improvement Level etc. measured over different intervals of time
3. Provides a testing platform for assessing the trainer/teacher effectiveness on a day-to-day basis
StudyBud’s online learning platform was launched in February this year and in the last 4 months, the team has tied up with 4 educational institutions and currently has more than 1200 paying students, with an additional 800 in agreement to join the platform by August (when the academic session resumes). “We are expected to grow to more than 10,000 paying students by the end of 2014,” says Anubhav. Talking about the market size, an India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) 2012 report says that India has more than 20,000 institutes offering Engineering and Management education in 2012, adding more than 1,000 new institutes and universities every year. The skill development market for these institutes alone translates to a $2 billion opportunity. “When the same is looked at in a global perspective, the opportunity is much higher. StudyBud wishes to make a foray into the global learning and assessment industry by providing tests and learning not only to educational institutions but also to companies/corporate for recruiting talent,” says Anubhav.
StudyBud has been participating in various programs across the globe. Talking about them, Dhruv says, “Both Mid-Night Pitch Fest, Finland and IDCEE, Ukraine, are events connecting selected startups to investors. Through Mid-Night Pitch Fest, StudyBud was featured amongst the top 10 B2B startups globally. IDCEE is expected to happen in October and is one of the biggest startup event in Central and Eastern Europe.”
On the revenue side, StudyBud makes money through two channels — retail sales (sales for the different courses posted on the portal) and primarily through institutional sales (sales of courses required for placement preparation by college students to the institutes). A single deal for a college for a batch of 200-250 students for the Aptitude Course priced at Rs. 2,500 ($40) per student fetches roughly Rs. 0.5 million (or $10,000).
StudyBud is currently in talks with subject/content experts across the globe to bring the best content on board for rapid growth and expansion to test-preparation domain with courses on IELTS, TOEFL and SAT. We also plan to grow in the Indian test-preparation market with courses for IIT-JEE, CAT and CSAT.
There is competition in the space but Studybud is trying to bring some very big pieces within the education area together and has impressive numbers to report till now. (check out our EduStars of 2013)