This skilling startup aggregates a million learning resources from Udemy, Udacity, and others
Wharton graduate Kavita Mehta did business development at Yahoo! in Silicon Valley for seven years before turning entrepreneur in 2011. Prior to Yahoo, she had also worked as an investment banker at GE Capital in the US.
Her first startup, The Red Pen, advised Indian students on university applications and admissions abroad.
While The Red Pen continues to be fully functional, Kavita launched her second venture, Caymus Tech, in September 2018. It taps into the burgeoning edtech sector in India and tops it with a layer of data science.
Founder-CEO Kavita tells YourStory,
“I have always been a data-driven decision-maker. And, I see a lot happening in the K12 education space today, but are we helping build skills in the 22-to-35 age group?”
That was the core target audience she wanted to address at Caymus Tech. The startup has built an AI-led learning experience platform (LXP) known as ‘Lore’.
Data-led learning aggregator
Lore helps young professionals who are looking to upskill by aggregating more than a million learning resources from over 1,000 course providers.
These are spread across learning genres, including Java, Python, PHP, Animation, Machine Learning, Digital Marketing, UI/UX, Business Management, Entrepreneurship, and more.
Course providers on Lore include leading edtech platforms such as Udemy, Udacity, Coursera, SimpliLearn, edX, Masterclass, and others. The company adds that this number is growing every day as it strikes new content and supplier partnerships.
“Our platform is a bit like Trivago… but for learning. We use AI and ML to help you search, compare, and choose the course best suited for you. The system can also generate personalised recommendations based on your skill sets,” Kavita explains.
Lore has 25+ ‘domain experts’, including academics, consultants, bankers, technologists, data scientists, media executives, designers, developers, project managers, HR specialists, etc.
These experts design curriculums known as Learning Pathways that are relevant to each individual learner. “We started with just online courses, and then added videos, podcasts, blogs, executive education, and even offline learning,” says Kavita.
Reaching a million learners
In about 15 months, Caymus Tech has touched 80,000 unique users, and expects to reach a million users by the end of 2020. Just like Trivago, it earns a cut from every lead it generates for course providers on the platform. The Mumbai-based startup claims to be growing at 100 percent month-on-month.
In July 2019, it raised Rs 1.2 crore in an angel round led by Silicon Valley investor Rob Solomon (who’s also the CEO of social fundraising platform GoFundMe).
Solomon stated at the time of funding,
“I have known Kavita for over two decades and have worked closely with her at two global companies. This long-standing association gives me confidence that she possesses the right skill sets, range of experiences, and global network to make an impact at scale.”
Caymus Tech plans to utilise the capital to hire fresh talent and expand the enterprise version of Lore - LoreForTeams, which it launched in November 2019.
Growing the enterprise offering
The startup believes that its enterprise product can create large-scale impact by helping organisations meet their ‘people goals’.
CEOs and CXOs can select from 75,000+ aggregated options or add external learning resources to address talent challenges faced by them when it comes to recruiting, onboarding, upskilling, and even retention of talent.
LoreForTeams also enables companies to improve employee engagement and track their progress. The enterprise clients are charged a conventional SaaS fee.
About five percent of the startup’s business already comes from the B2B offering.
“The product is sector-agnostic and mostly targeted at mid-sized and large enterprises. We hope to add about 100 clients by the end of 2020,” Kavita adds.
The industry landscape
Kavita shares that LXPs are a fairly new concept for companies in India. However, globally it is a $211 billion market, with America in the lead. But, things are changing in India, and the market is said to be “growing at a phenomenal pace”.
It is estimated to reach $10 billion by 2025, with top LXP operators like Degreed stepping up their services in the country. The San Francisco-based platform, which launched here in 2017, expects to garner sales of $6 million to $8 million, riding on demand from the IT/ITES, BFSI, telecom and manufacturing industries.
Caymus Tech, which wants to roll out its products globally, will also compete with Sunlight, Skillsoft, and other LXPs. In India, it is ramping up language content, which is in great demand.
The startup also wants to benefit from the ecosystem changes brought about by Reliance Jio. “With Jio making data ubiquitous, people are changing the way they do things across the board,” says Kavita.
And, that is one bus no online business would want to miss!
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)