Bengaluru-based UrbanPro wants to be the one-stop platform for learning in India, connecting teachers and students for academics and extra-curricular activities.
At a glance
Founders: Rakesh Kalra, Bhavana Kalra, Ramasamy B, Vikram Gawande
Year it was founded: 2011
Where it is based: Bengaluru
The problem it solves: Helps tutors, teachers, and institutes connect with students
Funding: $2 million
In 2011, when Rakesh Kalra moved back to India from the US after 11 years, he found it hard to find quality tutors for his children's extracurricular activities. That ordeal gave him the inspiration to start a platform that would help students connect with the best teachers living nearby and fulfil any learning requirement they may have. And UrbanPro.com was born.
UrbanPro has enabled trainers and institutes to create rich profiles by listing their skills and services for free. Students and parents can post their learning requirement or search for relevant trainers and institutes and connect with them, mentioning their preferred location and budget.
Rakesh started the venture, and was later joined by three Co-founders - Bhavana Kalra, Ramasamy B, and Vikram Gawande, each of them bringing over 15 years of experience across technology, product and business strategy. Over the years, the UrbanPro team grew from just a handful of members to a highly motivated and passionate team of more than 100 people.
“UrbanPro has built a unique platform that generates more than 3 million unique connections between students and teachers every year. Our reach is spread across 20,000-plus localities in India and we have helped 2.6 million students find the right tutor, trainer, or institute for their learning requirement. Our deep matching engine connects student requirements with the right tutors. We have also built an array of solutions to help tutors and institutes manage their student assessments, worksheets, lessons, courses, and reviews. We have enabled both online and offline options to allow tutors and institutes to maximise their earning opportunities.The key learning verticals that we operate in are tuition, exam prep, IT courses, languages and hobby classes, with primary focus on the top 12 cities in India,” Rakesh adds.
“UrbanPro was launched in 2011 and we have been consistently growing our users and revenue since then. Continuing our topline growth of 100%+ YoY, we will end this year with $4 million topline and positive EBITDA,” he adds.
UrbanPro.com earns revenue through a premium subscription model as part of which tutors and institutes can get a higher number of student leads along with preferential positions on relevant category pages searched by students.
“Our business has been growing primarily due to our strengths in matching demand with the right set of tutors and trainers available closest to the location of the student,” Rakesh says.
UrbanPro was bootstrapped by Rakesh Kalra for the first three years. In 2014, UrbanPro raised the first round of funding from a US-based angel investor, Raman Sud. In 2015, Nirvana Ventures invested Rs 12 crore into the company.
“We are India’s largest learning network with more than 6.5 lakh teachers, tutors and institutes registered with us. Our vision is to be a one-stop learning partner for every Indian. We are currently investing heavily in creating a best-in-class user experience for students while they try to post any requirement. At the same time, we have been improving our services for the community of tutors, trainers and institutes. Our aim is to grow by helping our tutors grow their training and coaching business, since we truly believe that nothing can replace a great teacher,” Rakesh says.
On the startup’s future plans, he says: “We are committed to making the entire process of searching for the right tutor as frictionless as possible.”
“We are very excited to be building the largest learning network in India. While we have started the journey with solving the discovery problem for students and tutors, we continue to deepen the product to cover the entire spectrum of discovery to delivery of learning in India,” Rakesh concludes.