Learnyst helps educators build their ‘schools on the cloud’ with plug and play servicesHarshith Mallya
A few years ago maintaining a physical front or an office space was a necessity and having a digital presence or website was optional. Fast forward to present, people generally frown down upon companies or startups that do not have sufficient digital presence in the form of a website, or company blog, even if majority of their clients are offline. Having a digital presence has multiple advantages; it helps build the brand name, improve discoverability and adds authenticity.
For some startups and companies, setting up their websites from scratch is an uphill task that requires time and technical know-how. Learnyst aims to address this pain point for companies in the education sector and offers a ‘plug and play’ service.
What is it?
Learnyst helps educators build their branded e-learning websites and sell courses. With their integrated LMS (Learning Management System) interface, educators can upload course content in the form of videos, PDFs, PPTs and assessments. Some of their key features include - DIY website builder, adaptive video streaming, content hosting, assessment interface, content security, payment gateway integration, custom domains, mobile apps and student analytics.
Learnyst claims that educators are generating 30x ROI without having to worry about implementation or technology maintenance through their platform. They have pre-integrated their services with payment gateways such as CCAvenue, PayU Money, EBS, and Stripe etc and can integrate with others as well as needed.
Team behind it
Shankar Mahesh and Shivranjan Kumar were school and college mates who have known each other for the past two decades. They had founded Kareoke Garage, an online social singing platform in 2012. Then it 2014, they realized the need for a plug and play service for companies in the educational sector which had difficulty in tapping into the digital segment. This led to them co-founding Learnyst.
Shankar has more than 10 years of experience and has worked in companies like Huawei and Motorola as technical architect. Shivranjan also has more than 10 years of experience and has worked in companies like IBM and GE as a business analyst and project manager. They are a team of eight with one designer, four developers and a data admin.
Learnyst is currently focused on the Indian market. They have developed assessment templates for competitive exams like CAT, GATE, IIT JEE and CLAT. Their list of clients include Career Launcher, Crack Verbal, ASAP Tutor, 2IIM, Test Cracker, and Learning Roots.
The biggest challenge in education segment is finding product-market fit and customer acquisition. Our focus towards India market has helped us find our product niche early in the game. Also, having a targeted solution to Indian education market is helping us acquire customers with a short sales cycle.
Currently they charge their customers based on bandwidth usage. For example, their base plan is priced at Rs.1999/- per month which includes 15GB bandwidth and 30 GB storage. They also have an Ultimate plan for Rs. 9999/- per month which includes 250GB bandwidth and 500 GB storage. They plan to release marketing tools in the near future and then migrate their pricing plans to a percentage based pricing model where they will charge a percentage of the revenue for every course purchased. Shivranjan added:
Currently, Learnyst is generating revenues of about INR 75,000/- per month. We are currently bootstrapped and aim to raise INR 1.5 crores by October 2015.
Learnyst embraces different marketing techniques to reach and acquire new customers.To acquire potential customers who have high ‘Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)’ they engage in direct sales. To reach out to independent tutors and education institutes they engage in social media marketing through multiple platforms.
They also keep an eye on their organic search results and improve their SEO index through high quality blog content and other techniques. In addition, Learnyst offers a free 30-day trial to any client who signs-up on their platform.
Others in the sector
While Learnyst focuses on education there are other players who offer similar services for other sectors such as Shopify, Zepo, KartRocket, GetMeAShop, and NowFloats etc. On the global front usefedora.com, patience.io and schoolkeep.com offer similar services as Learnyst.
Learnyst consider their USPs to be better content security, adaptive video streaming and offline secure mobile apps. Piracy is a problem in India and around the world. So with encrypted streaming for educators content they aim to keep the educators content safe and secure. To tackle the problems arising out of unreliable internet connectivity, their adaptive video streaming technology aims to ensure continuous video streaming even at low internet connectivity.
They also provide offline secure mobile apps where educators can distribute their encrypted course content through pen drives or SD Cards and students can access course content using Learnyst powered mobile apps. This is mainly designed for students in remote places where internet connectivity is bad or unavailable.
Within the next 12 months, Learnyst aims to have 1000 paying customers, automate the development of mobile apps, provide marketing tools for educators like emails, blogs, social integration, SMS, coupons, and partnership with marketplace vendors etc. They also aim to target the higher education market like colleges and universities.