Ranked as 6th best EdTech startup, Sarthaks eConnect is attracting students from small towns by making education ‘affordable’
EdTech platforms have witnessed unprecedented growth with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing all educational institutions — schools, colleges, universities — across the country to a screeching halt. While the leading players of the EdTech industry attracted students from Tier I cities, a large part of the student population from Tier II and III remained unprepared for the digital transformation of education. To address these challenges, Bhatt Sanjeev and Abhishek Kumar decided to acquire this untapped market with Sarthaks eConnect.
Launched in 2017, the Sarthaks eConnect focuses on students living in semi-urban and rural areas who lack electronic curricula, affordable quality e-content, and educated, tech-savvy teachers. Since its inception, its user base has multiplied to reach a whopping 33 million.
How does it work?
With its multi-lingual online learning platform, Sarthaks eConnect uses text, audio and image recognition to provide instantaneous and interactive solutions to K-12, JEE and NEET students. Sarthaks offers a simple yet high-quality content-based Doubt-Solving Platform, which is provided free of cost to students. It is closely competing with Doubtnut and Toppr in this space. It provides its users instant solutions in a step-by-step format from its dataset of 1.8 million questions. Additionally, when the solutions are not available in the database, it automatically allocates those doubts to in-house teachers and users get answers within 45 minutes.
Sarthaks also offers a self-study, online Test Preparation Platform (on its mobile app and website) that makes use of varied, scientifically developed assessment styles to provide a detailed performance analysis, including an All-India Rank. As a unique offering, Sarthaks eConnect provides the complete class syllabus for each grade in Q&A format thereby enabling learners to practice better.
Growth, revenue and funding
Sarthaks eConnect began with an extensive, state-wide offline teaching drive in Bihar where it provided free demos and supplementary educational products to students in public and budgeted private schools. Today, with its leading user base coming from India, the startup has a presence across three continents. 5 percent of its user base comes from international destinations such as the USA, the UAE, the Philippines and Nigeria, and all of its more than 400,000 daily active users have been secured organically.
Having launched its monetization in 2021, Sarthaks eConnect offers monthly and annual subscription plans at an economical price and operates on a highly scalable freemium model to acquire new users and provide quality content relevant to the students.
Sarthaks eConnect is positioned as the top sixth player in the Indian EdTech ecosystem after Byju’s, Toppr, Vedantu, Doubtnut and Unacademy. The following chart depicts the user visits of the top 10 EdTech players:
Monthly User Visits
Source: SimilarWeb (May’21)
With over 25 years of experience, both Bhatt and Abhishek are on a mission to address the holistic learning needs of students. Sarthaks eConnect has positioned itself as the youngest bootstrapped EdTech startup in India to achieve this scale and size.
The K-12 market consists of 261 million learners of which 9 percent belong to elite private schools, 36 per cent to budget private schools and 55 per cent to government schools. Most of the top EdTech players are focusing on the top 9 percent of the population who have awareness of digital education and adequate resources to afford premium subscriptions. Sarthaks is targeting the remaining 91 percent of this market, and that makes its business model more scalable with a wider reach.
In order to expand its reach across non-metro cities and make education ‘affordable’ for the younger generation with limited resources, Sarthaks eConnect is raising its first round of Pre-Series A funding with FundTQ acting as its exclusive advisor.