Online Test Preparation startups being built from India
Teachers’ Day is celebrated in appreciation of Teachers but the day on which it is celebrated depends from country to country. In India, the birthdate, 5 September 1888, of the second President of India, academic philosopher Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan is celebrated as the Teachers’ Day. Today, being the Teachers’ Day and representing the changing times we live in, we thought of making a list of Indian startups that help students prepare online. As this tweet suggests,
Travel Diaries (@diipti) September 5, 2014
The likes of Coursera, Udemy, Udacity, Khan Academy have made learning a lot more easier and accessible. Closer back home, all the big coaching institutes like Career Launcher and TIME have come online with their test preparation modules and it is indeed, a huge market. Some key points with respect to test preparation in India:
- More than 15 million students in India prepare for competitive exams (IIT JEE, CAT, Banking, etc)
- Education as a sector is huge but it is difficult to build a commercially viable business. Test Preparation is one of the most pomising in terms of the business model because there is a sizeable number of students (and parents) who’re willing to pay.
- For startups, it is not just a B2C game, they can look at partnering with offline coaching classes and other such models.
Here are some of the upcoming startups in the test preparation zone (in no particular order):
Toppr: Founded by Zishaan Hayath and Hemanth Goteti, Toppr focuses on IIT-JEE and Pre medical. The company has raised INR 12 crores from SAIF Partners and Helion Ventures and has promising early traction. (read their story)
Testbook: Built by alumni of IIT Bombay and Delhi, TestBook helps students crack GATE and have now entered the banking domain too. The product has more than 45,000 registered users and a repository of more than 21 lakh questions. (read about them)
MockBank: MockBack has a clear mandate of focusing on banking- IBPS PO, SBI Clerk, etc.- exams that are taken by many but there aren’t many resources available online. It has a niche target market and has a paid rroduct. (more on MockBank)
Embibe: Backed by Lightbox.vc, Embibe is takes real exam question papers from previous years and makes them intelligent. Embibe helps students for JEE/BITSAT (engineering), AIPMT/CET/AIIMS (medical). (some views from Embibe)
100Marks: 100Marks helps engineering aspirants with their self-study through guidance and self-assessment. Backed by The Morpheus, 100Marks has a good organic community on its social channels. (detailed piece)
Examify: Backed by investor and entrepreneur Vishal Gondal, Examify is a test preparation tool that digs through all the old question papers and helps the student to study in a smarter way. Examify is currently for IIT-JEE. (read about the founder)
Mera Test Bazaar: MTB from MyTestBuddy is an online education and test prep marketplace for students and teachers. It allows teachers to create a module and students can consume it online (read more about it)
Handa Ka Funda: HKF is an online test preparation platform for MBA aspirants. founded by Ravi Handa, HKF is an example of how good content and a genuine effort can create an online business (read Ravi’s story)
Oliveboard: One of our discoveries during EduStars, Oliveboard helps students prepare for MBA and Banking. Oliveboard has built an adaptive platform and relies a lot on video tutorials (see how these ex-InMobi folks started)
PREXAM: Founded by Payal Doshi, PREXAM had its roots in a project she did back in 2007. The project tok final shape when PREXAM was launched in 2012 and caters to a lot of exams- starting from finance to banking to engineering to medical (read about PREXAM)
MindWorkkz: Arun Sharama is a well known name in the filed of management. He has been tutoring MBA aspirants for close to 15 years and sold more than 1.5 million copies of his books. MindWorkkz is his effort to bring the knowledge online (read his story)
Unacademy: An open education initiative by Gaurav Munjal and Romain Saini, Unacademy focuses on UPSC civil service exams. The YouTube channel is also an aggregator which hosts content from various providers. (learn more about them)
EntrancePrime: A part of diversified Education Company ‘JIVEM Education’, EntrancePrime is a website for test series preparations (JEE, AIPMT, BITSAT, CA-CPT and NTSE). The company has over 50,000 registered students.
Cracku: Based out of Hyderabad, Cracku is founded by a group of IIT-IIM graduates and helps students prepare for MBA.
Clear IAS: Founded by Alex Andrews George, Clear IAS plays in the content domain and has a rich repository of resources to help students clear the IAS exam. It also has an Android application that has more than 25k downloads.
CrunchPrep GRE: Founded by Jitta Rao and Sachin kaundinya, CrunchPrep GRE helps students prepare for GRE. It gives users a personalized study plan, assistance from tutors, customized practice sessions, analysis, etc.
All these efforts are signs of competition but also show us how times are changing. Back in 2012, A16Z wrote about Software eating education and it sums up the trend pretty well,
Education methods have not fundamentally changed in hundreds—possibly even thousands—of years. The core learning structure has always been and remains one teacher and a limited number of students. This structure reduces learning opportunities for much of the world’s population (even in first-world countries) and limits the impact of the best educators to no more than a few dozen lucky individuals a year.
But it doesn’t have to continue like this. From a business perspective, this is a supply and demand problem in that the demand for quality education is not being met by an adequate supply of learning opportunities. From a technology perspective, this is a problem that can now be solved with software. From a societal perspective, there should be alarm bells going off for everyone that this is an issue that requires our boldest ideas and brightest minds.
In India, it’ll be very important for these startups to be strong on mobile to get more engagement and get meaningful traction. Do tell us which ones do you like and point out if we’ve missed out any.