The online test preparation market has become a promising sector for startups in the last couple of years, given the growing use of smartphones and significant traction of students. But the concept of delivering educational services via mobile phones was not that lucrative in the 2007-08 era.
In 2007, Nitin Vijay (32), an alumnus of IIT BHU, dared to think ahead of his time to launch Motion Education, which offers courses for students from Classes VI to XII on Olympiads, NTSE, JEE-Main, JEE-Advanced and pre-medical exams. Started with only four employees and 700 students, this Kota-based firm today has 220 employees and 6,465 students on board.
Nitin started Motion IIT-JEE in December 2007 with a seed capital of Rs one lakh, just six months after he finished his B.Tech. Born and brought up in Varanasi, Nitin decided to set up his venture in Kota, Rajasthan, given its popularity and potential market for coaching institutes. His entrepreneurial journey took off with his first venture Kota Point in Varanasi, where he used to teach physics for IIT and PMT (Pre-Medical Test) aspirants. Later, he moved out of Kota Point to fuel his dream of establishing Motion Education.
In 2012, Motion Education launched Motion Solution Lab to record lectures, simulations and quizzes. It makes e-learning accessible via DLP (Distance Learning Programme), which includes video lectures, video solutions, study material packages for all the courses. Last year, it launched Motion Edu Tab programme, where tablets are used in classrooms to track students’ performance and modify class lectures as per the requirements generated through various performance reports.
Nitin states the model of Motion Education is similar to that of a school where a student has to follow daily schedule for classes, homework, test, cultural activities.
With products like Motion Solution Lab and Motion Edu-tab, we are able to monitor performances of every student individually, which we share with the student and provide a compiled report to the faculty as well, so that they can see where the class is lacking or the topic in which the class is weak,” says Nitin.
Organic growth so far…
Without raising funds, Motion Education has been showing organic growth since inception. The company is growing at a rate of 17 per cent year on year for classroom coaching and 140 per cent for e-learning.
The startup generates revenue from fees received from students in classroom and sale of e-learning tool to individuals, schools or institutions. In the next three years, Motion Education plans to reach out to three lakh students and 700 learning institutes. The company is expecting to attain a turnover of Rs 28 crore for this fiscal year.
Even big coaching institutes like Career Launcher and TIME have gone online with their test preparation modules. Moreover, the likes of Coursera, Udemy, Udacity, Khan Academy have broken the conventional mode of learning. Toppr, Embibe, Online Tyaari, EntrancePrime, Cracku, and CrunchPrep GRE are few of the startups that are shaping the unorganised and traditional test preparation market in India.
Industry and competition
The online test prep industry is valued at $8 billion, and has witnessed a spate of investor activity in the past couple of years. Bengaluru-based Vedantu raised $5 million from Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management, Toppr raised Rs 65 crore in May 2015, OnlineTyaari raised Rs 5 crore from both angel and VC investors. Bengaluru-based Byju emerged as frontrunner by raising $75 million from Sequoia Capital and Sofina, the largest fund raised by an edtech startup in India.
Today, when edtech startups are making noise everywhere only by raising funds, Motion Education sets an example as a bootstrapped startup that can be profitable year on year. Having tied up with more than 600 institutions, including schools, coaching centres and individual teachers, it has achieved a turnover of Rs 16 crore in FY 2014-15.
MOTION IIT-JEE is the culmination of a desire to start an entrepreneurial venture in IIT-JEE coaching in Kota, the coaching hub for school test preparations in engineering streams. The idea is to create a system which will lead to overall academic improvement of the students at a bare minimum cost,” says Nitin.