Led by a husband-wife duo, MyEdge connects parents with tutors; the startup is betting on the tutor-cum-counsellor model to coach students and help them handle academic stress.
At a glance
Founder: Vidhu Goyal and Rohin Kapoor
Year it was founded: 2016
Where is it based: NCR (Gurugram)
The problem it solves: Tutoring and counselling
Funding raised: Bootstrapped
Be it school or college, most students head to a common destination at some point during the day: coaching classes. In a 2017 study by ASSOCHAM, more than 86 percent parents surveyed revealed they had enrolled their children in coaching classes, or arranged personal tuitions.
The reason? Lack of time or adequate subject knowledge. But often, the classes or tutors aren’t the best choice. MyEdge is on a mission to change this with its innovative solution, WONK.
The Gurugram-based startup’s core offering, WONK, provides on-demand verified tutors. The app aims to connect students and parents with expert tutors who offer physical coaching services. With proprietary algorithms, WONK aims to address and meet all the requirements of parents and tutors.
Vidhu Goyal, Co-founder of MyEdge, says: “Academic stress and the many cases of student suicides are unfortunately the sad reality of the Indian education system. We wanted to effectively use a student touch point to address and overcome these challenges.”
According to report by India Brand Equity Foundation, India’s education sector is estimated to reach $144 billion by 2020 from $97.8 billion in 2016. The country has one of the largest higher education systems in the world with more than 1.5 million schools (with over 260 million students enrolled), 751 universities, and 35,539 colleges.
Offline private tutoring is a critical component of India’s education industry; one that’s estimated to be is be in excess of $70 billion in size. However, the sector is highly unorganised with cash transactions, lack of transparency about tutor’s fees and background, and zero tax payments.
MyEdge aims to focus on using technology to streamline the tutoring industry.
WONK offers tutors for different categories, including preschool, school, undergraduate, professional courses, postgraduate, entrance, hobbies, interests and languages.
Since its launch in 2016, Vidhu highlights that over 15,000+ classes have been booked through the app, which has an average rating of 4.1+ on PlayStore and has been downloaded over 10,000 times.
To address academic stress effectively and on a deeper level, the platform has on-boarded Malini Sen as a Strategic Advisor and Lead Student Counsellor. Malini has worked extensively to promote race and gender equality, and transform communities through educational programming.
MyEdge also provides training to tutors for providing general counselling to students and parents during times of stress.
How WONK works?
WONK is resolving tutor discovery, booking, and financing. The app provides ease of identifying, comparing and booking a tutor at a click.
Besides finding the right tutor, WONK provides a number of benefits such as facility of booking verified tutors at pre-negotiated fees, money back guarantee, tutor swap, tutor concierge services and the ability to fund tuition fees through EMIs.
Students and parents can download the app from PlayStore, enter their tutor requirements, analyse tutor profiles and book a tutor. The platform also provides a dedicated number for user hand-holding.
Vidhu highlights that all tutors listed on WONK are verified via Aadhaar for their academic and teaching credentials.
The back story
A simple search for a home tutor for a female child made the founders realise the extent of unscientific approach in identifying and booking a tutor. The parents have to bank on the information provided by a tutor regarding his or her educational qualification, fees, and previous track record that cannot be verified. This complete lack of professionalism and unorganised operations led to the birth of WONK.
Rohin Kapoor, co-founder of MyEdge, says: “Being a tech virgin industry, we had to clearly spell out the benefits of WONK to all stakeholders. We received our first booking within three days of our launch.”
Vidhu, 34, Co-founder and CEO, is an MBA from IMT Ghaziabad. She has over nine years of experience in the financial services sector and holds domain expertise in strategy development and implementation; fostering strategic partnership; and sales and digital marketing. She is also one of the women entrepreneurs selected by Facebook for the She Leads Tech India Programme.
Rohin Kapoor, 36, Co-Founder and COO, is a BIT Mesra graduate. He has over 14 years of experience in education and technology, and has led consulting teams in the sectors at Deloitte and PwC. He is also a member of CII National Committee on Higher Education since the last five years.
Malini Sen is MyEdge’s Strategic Advisor and Lead Student Counsellor. Before her association with MyEdge, Malini was working as senior editor at Education Times. She has also assisted and reported for The Times of India’s Teach India campaign and played a key role in shaping the Times Scholar programme. Malini has a master’s degree in English from University of Delhi and a master’s degree in gender studies from University of Leeds.
Roadmap for the future
A report by KPMG and Google pegs the edtech market at touching $1.96 billion by 2021, with close to 9.6 million users from $247 million and over 1.6 million users in 2016.
However, WONK is betting on its unique features like easy financing options and tutor-cum-counsellor model to create its own niche in the market.
Since inception, the platform has witnessed an average of 25 percent month-on-month growth and has generated revenue of over Rs 30 lakh. The startup has been selected by Government of Haryana and NASSCOM for the warehouse incubation programme, FbStart programme, Microsoft BizSpark, and F6s.
Currently, the company is monetising by charging service fees from tutors and mock test (series) booking from the mobile app, the brand’s primary source of revenue. The sale of third-party learning improvement products and advertising on app also contribute to the revenue stream.
Going ahead, the company, which is currently bootstrapped and backed by a five-member team, is planning to enter Tier I and II cities, launch the app in local languages, and innovate existing offerings.
“Our ultimate goal is to build an AI-driven virtual tutor to provide the best coaching, counselling and mentorship to students by collecting knowledge and experience from the best-in-class teachers in India and abroad,” Vidhu says.