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Hesitant in speaking English? All you need is a little Knudge

Dipti Nair
9th Sep 2017
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With half-a-million users on the PlayStore, this consumer internet startup, Knudge.me, hopes to make English-speaking as easy as playing video games. 

Like it or not, in India, English is your ladder to success. There are a dime a dozen apps on the Google PlayStore alone that profess to teach you spoken English.

Knudge.me joins this crowded space and its founders hope the gamification aspect of learning a new language will see it through.

Zunaid Ahmed

Founded by three friends, Zunaid Ahmed from Dehradun, Pushp Raj Saurabh from Patna, and Udit Jain from Saharanpur, Knudge.me is bootstrapped.

The app is a result of the personal ‘pain points’ of the founders, who, as Zunaid says, knew English but were not comfortable speaking it. “We all come from tier II and III cities and found that there were many like us who were not confident about carrying on a conversation in English,” says Zunaid.

After their engineering degrees (Zunaid and Udit graduated from IIIT-Ahmedabad and Pushp from Thapar University), the three worked in various startups from TinyOwl to Flipkart to Craftsvilla to Walmart Labs, before coming together to start their own startup.

They have positioned Knudge.me as a global edtech platform -- “we are seeing a good traction from the overseas,” says Zunaid. They have divided the course into bite-size lessons so that the user is kept engaged. There are ‘games’ that improve your grammar, build your vocabulary, and help you -- ‘advise’ or is it ‘advice’ -- on the usage of similar sounding words that English is so famous for.

The app has close to half a million users on the Google PlayStore. The founders say that more than 50 lakh bite-sized lessons have been consumed and more than four lakh games have been played on the app.

The startup recently graduated as part of the cohort from Axilor Ventures. Last year, they were picked up by Facebook’s FbStart programme that helps early-stage mobile-based startups build and grow their apps.

Zunaid says the founders’ combined experience of working in different startups gives them an edge. “I have learnt that no amount of tech innovation will work unless you are able to solve the basic problem of your user,” he adds. Clearly, an important lesson for many early-stage startups that fail to see that tech for tech’s sake does not make a good product. It is the impact of that tech on the lives of users which makes all the difference.

Watch Zunaid talk about Knudge.me as he gives a peek into the app and tells the story of his startup.


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