Noida-based Fastudent, a startup in the education segment, has raised a round of seed investment from a group of angel investors, led by Ashish Gupta, Founder and Trustee, Ashoka University. The platform takes care of the education needs of students across age groups, and supplies a range of education products and services. It will use the seed funding for team expansion, strengthening technology, and increasing its geographical footprint. The company plans to hire over 90 people over the next six months.
Founded by IIT-IIM alumnae, Gaurav Barman and Geetanjali Khanna, Fastudent is an educational products aggregator that helps students, parents, schools and teachers, ranging from play groups to post- graduation, fulfill their academic needs. Currently, Fastudent offers more than 20,000 SKUs across eight categories - books and stationery, academic accessories, uniforms, games, sports, digital products, and customised merchandise.
They are rapidly expanding their operations and plan to acquire over 10 million paying customers by 2018. They intend to extend to 32 niche and focused categories in the coming months. The founders say the platform solves a very fundamental problem in the Indian education system i.e. accessibility to academic supplies in the remotest nooks and corners of the country.
“With Fastudent we aim to compliment the shift in consumption patterns of the education fraternity. The blended model of physical educational needs coupled with consultative, customized and modularized digital learning. We are working relentlessly to streamline the difficulties students go through on a daily basis and let them focus on what they do best viz study,” says Geetanjali Khanna, Co-founder and COO, Fastudent.
Education is a hot segment in the country today. According to data from Venture Intelligence, the Education segment attracted investment of $ 30 million in 2014, nearly double the funding received in 2013.
Many education startups have been able to raise huge funds this year as well. In this segment, online test preparation and K-12-focussed technology-based startups have topped the list. Toppr, Plancess, Simplilearn, Convegenius and Flinnt are some of the startups that raised funding this year.
Amazon and Flipkart are some of the players which also aggregates education products. Besides, there's a San Francisco-based player Studysoup which also claims its market in India.
However, unlike other education startups, education products aggregators have not been very popular among investors. In the past, due to dearth of funding, many such websites such as AllSchoolStuff and SchoolShop have shut down. According to experts, the USD 30 billion market is extremely fragmented and is yet to witness the emergence of single largest players.
The recent funding of Fastudent is a new development. It would be interesting to observe the growth in this particular area for education startups in the future.