[TechSparks 2020] There has never been a better time to enter edtech, says Byju Raveendran
The COVID-19 outbreak has undeniably given a massive boost to the edtech sector. With accelerated digital disruption amid the pandemic, the sector saw several educational institutions, students, teachers opt for edtech applications with no physical alternative in sight.
Market data reveals that around 435 new edtech startups launched in the last 24 months to tap into the growing sector. However, Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO of edtech unicorn BYJU'S, said that the market is nowhere close to saturation and that now is not a time to exit but time to enter for most edtech startups.
“There has never been a better time to start up in this sector. If you’re passionate about the sector and want to make an impact, there’s a lot more to do. There are hardly any large companies in this sector and there are several opportunities and problems to be solved in this space,” he said, in a virtual fireside with YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma at TechSparks 2020.
Byju added that there is also a need for investors who will support the long-term visions for the space.
Byju Raveendran, Founder and CEO of edtech unicorn BYJU'S in talks with Shradha Sharma, Founder and CEO of YourStory, during TechSparks 2020
Bullish about technology disruption in the sector
Speaking at the 11th edition of YourStory’s flagship event TechSparks, Byju said that he is very bullish about technological innovations in the edtech space.
“Two types of business models will evolve in the edtech space — one who will launch platforms for students to get access to study materials online and platforms for the teachers to come online. Let’s bring back the teachers. Let’s create teachers for the world,” he added.
Edtech unicorn BYJU'S is focusing on creating awareness for online learning. Byju explained that the issue of “digital divide” is clear and the startup is trying to get more students online, and ensuring that they have access to good instructors and content in a cost efficient way.
Edtech: a satisfying sector
According to Byju, edtech is a satisfying sector for those passionate about the problems in the sector as one can actually see how their innovations are helping students across the country.
Clarifying that online education cannot replace school or college education, he added that there is a need to have a blended approach to solve problems in education. The founder passionately declared that if he had $500 million, he would bet it all on edtech.
According to the founder, BYJU’S currently has more than 70 million free users and over five million paid subscribers. He also claimed that in a bid to reach out to the students who don't have access, the startup is looking to teach at least one student for free for every paid student on their platform.
The founder also reveals that the startup is looking to raise funding which will be deployed majorly for inorganic growth. “Our core model is already self-sustaining. We use funds for our inorganic growth mainly. We have a fundamentally strong business model but it’s a huge responsibility cause we want it to work for all stakeholders,” he says.
TechSparks - YourStory's annual flagship event - has been India's largest and most important technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship summit for over a decade, bringing together entrepreneurs, policymakers, technologists, investors, mentors, and business leaders for stories, conversations, collaborations, and connections that matter. As TechSparks 2020 goes all virtual and global in its 11th edition, we want to thank you for the tremendous support we've received from all of you throughout our journey and give a huge shoutout to our sponsors of TechSparks 2020.