EduAwake is an exclusive online store that provides educational materials for school kids
India has one of the largest school-age populations in the world. Yet niche markets are still a far cry when it comes to school-related purchases such as text/reference books, educational DVDs, or general knowledge kits. To help fill the gap, Bengaluru-based e-commerce startup EduAwake was launched.
EduAwake brought all school purchases under one umbrella while connecting schools, parents, subject-matter experts, and vendors. Now schools have a common platform for educational bulk purchases and parents no longer have to run from pillar to post to collect various educational products for their kids. EduAwake provides a platform for writers, tutors, educational startups, and suppliers to sell their books or other products and services.
A startup built on empathy
“While getting school purchases for our own kids, we realised there was a whole new world of school material we weren’t aware of. For instance, midyear reference material for exams like Science Olympiad or NTSE exam. Like us, most parents have annual budgets so they are not prepared for many of these purchases until they become urgent needs. We felt all these heads must come under one platform,” shares Martin Paul, Co-founder of EduAwake. He along with his friend Saravanan Lakshmanan co-founded Givevalu Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd in August 2014 and launched school purchase e-commerce portal www.eduawake.com shortly afterwards. Both the founders are electronic engineers with more than 14 years of experience in technology/solution architecture and customer delivery management.
Product and revenue model
EduAwake is an integrated marketplace platform facilitating electronic procurement for institutions and sellers that cater to K-12 private educational sector. Recently, EduAwake’s B2C platform was launched with over 1,200 product listings such as learning aids, DIY activity kits, toys, school stationeries, puzzles, books, games, and reference material for competitive exams, online programmes divided into categories of grade, language, educational board, subject, type, format and exam. “In just few months, the B2C website has had more than 12,000 visitors and over 200 sign ups without any major digital marketing efforts. We look forward to the months of January to May since that’s the timeframe for the schools in bulk orders,” adds Saravanan.
How do they plan to earn from the platform? “Our revenue model is based on transaction fee from sellers/vendors as well as subscription fee from schools and advertisement revenue from schools/sellers. We would offer free subscription to schools initially and we also have a revenue plan from value-added services from sellers and schools through market insights and analytics,” shares Saravanan.
When it comes to edtech startups, there seems to be a plethora of them lately. “NASCOMM 2014 report says there are 190 edtech startups in the country. India’s online education market size alone is predicted to grow to USD 40 billion in 2017,” says Martin.
“There’s koolskool.com, Anything Skool, fastudent.com, and modelshop.in to name a few. However, they are either run by shoe manufacturers, book distributors, etc., and have very limited product choices and product categories. Most of these sell their own selected products and not a real educational marketplace. Moreover, none of them have product and services discovery and procurement system,” informs Saravanan.
So what makes EduAwake different? “Competitors for B2C marketplace model are major e-commerce players, but none of them are focussed on school/education vertical. We plan to further narrow down to more niche products. And for B2B, we don’t have any competitors,” says Martin.
Learning and future plans
"From day one, we saw ourselves wearing multiple hats from peon to coder to marketer to director, which was challenging, but mostly the freedom of thinking and slowly getting to see the positive outcomes of our efforts is gratifying," says Martin.
The founders wish to launch EduAwake B2C mobile application by the end of February 2016 and B2B version by March 2016. They want to bring 500 vendors and take the product listing to 4,000 this year.
“Our vision for this product is to be the world’s best technology integration solution for conducting business for all the top quality educational products and services,” concludes Saravanan.
“DISE, Technopak Analysis had said that 1.4 million schools in India are in K12 school segment and with 0.3 million of these are private schools. This segment has an additional requirement of 40,000 more schools and two million additional teachers. We are addressing this opportunity,” adds Martin.
EduAwake founders are thus extremely positive to make a major contribution in organising the school purchase segment of this market.
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