This edtech startup is helping students learn tech skills in interactive vernacular content to make them future ready

Hyderabad-based NxtWave aims to bridge the gap between college education and what the industry expects by upskilling students, mostly from Tier-II, III, IV colleges, and making them employable in Industry 4.0 technologies.
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With evolving dynamics of job requirements in the highly competitive market, students graduating from educational institutes are finding it difficult to find a job due to huge market requirements.

According to a report by ASSOCHAM, only 20 percent of the five million fresh graduates every year get employed. 

While shortage of industry-ready skills and a mismatch in supply and demand is evident, students from Tier-II, III, and IV colleges are also facing a hard time engaging with online learning content in English on Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) and other platforms leading to poor learning and career outcomes. 

This is where NxtWave comes in. Founded by Rahul Attuluri, Anupam Pedarla, Sashank Gujjula in September 2020, the Hyderabad-based startup aims to bridge the gap between college education and industry needs. It upskills students, mostly from smaller towns, and makes them employable in Industry 4.0 technologies.

What does it offer?

With a mission to produce one million new-age developers every year and keeping in view all the challenges, the NxtWave team has designed a unique training module where vernacular, online, asynchronous, cohort-based training is combined with bite-sized and consolidation learning to create transformative learning experiences.

“We are solving the problem of non-availability of job oriented tech course content in vernacular languages and strong alignment to in-demand and changing tech job roles,” says Rahul.

At the moment, it is offering career tracks in Telugu, Hindi, and English

Screenshot of web view

Rahul says the platform has adopted a reverse-engineered curriculum, which focuses on a hands-on approach and project-based learning. 

“Industry-level projects give the necessary exposure to build exactly those skills that companies hire for. Our key ongoing programmes include Continuous Career Building Programs (CCBP 4.0) and Academy and CCBP 4.0 Intensive programs,” adds Rahul.

CCBP Academy is a long-term part-time program ranging from 2-4 years for college students. On the other hand, CCBP Intensive is a eight months full-time programme for college graduates and early professionals.

At present, the platform has paid subscribers from 250+ districts across India who have spent 175 million+ minutes on the learning platform. In the last six months, 300+ companies have hired NxtWave graduates including the likes of Google, Jio, Amazon, Accenture, IBM, Bank of America, TCS, Deloitte, etc.

The programmes are priced between $500 (Rs 35,000) to $2,800 (over Rs 2 lakh) depending on the program.

The startup is offering programs with multiple payment models like pay-after-placement, EMIs, scholarships, etc. to make CCBP 4.0 programs accessible to everyone, irrespective of their financial background. 

Apart from this, NxtWave is building India’s largest 4.0 Tech Student Community and bringing together a group of forward-thinking and tech-savvy minds from various colleges. 

This community will serve as an ecosystem to help students build skills and careers in 4.0 technologies like AI/ML, cyber security, IoT, Data Science, AR/VR, Blockchain, Full stack Development, and more. 

There are 2,50,000 students from 3,000+ colleges across 35 Indian states & UTs as  part of this community.

The team

With a team size of 150 full-time members and few freelancers, Rahul takes care of product, content, and curriculum, while COO Anupam Pedarla takes care of operations and Sashank Gujjula is the Head of Customer Experience.

Rahul holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from IIIT-Hyderabad. Prior to NxtWave, he was the CTO at iB Hubs and co-founded CyberEye. He has also worked for Amazon India and Bwin Technologies. Anupam graduated from IIT Kharagpur and previously worked as VP-Global business at iB Hubs. Sashank, a graduate of IIT Bombay, worked as VP-Student relations at iB Hubs previously.

NxtWave Co-founders

Market size and revenue

While the edtech space in India is huge, Rahul says NxtWave is focusing on building a skilled workforce in 4.0 technologies like full stack development, AI/ML, cyber security, IoT, AR/VR, Blockchain, and more.

The World Economic Forum estimated that 13.3 crore new jobs will be created by 4.0 technologies by 2022.

Rahul further states, “In our survey, we’ve found that a significant number (~80 percent) of graduates are keen on learning advanced technologies, but there are a lot of entry barriers to pursue existing options.” 

“There are programs providing training in some of these 4.0 technologies targeting the top 1 or 2 percent students, while the rest of the learners have difficulty in understanding tech career content in English. NxtWave focuses on the other 98 percent students and recent graduates primarily from Tier II, III, and IV colleges and towns who lack access to quality learning ecosystem, and suffer from very low employability.”

NxtWave works on an annual subscription model and makes revenue from the registration fee paid by the candidates. 

Image Credits: YS Design Team

The startup started with an initial investment of Rs 10 lakh and claims to be a revenue making company from day one. 

The cash-flow positive startup claims to be profitably growing by 12X in the last 10 months at $10 million ARR.

Funding and way ahead

NxtWave aims to empower 40 million college students and graduates, between the age groups of 18 - 23, into highly skilled professionals in 4.0 technologies. In the next three years, the team plans to transform one million youth directly.

In the next one year, the team is working to add support for more Indian vernacular languages like Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, Bengali, Gujarati, Malayalam, and Odia along with adding more career tracks in English, Hindi, and Telugu. Apart from Indian languages, the startup is looking to add support for Southeast Asian languages like Indonesian, Vietnamese, Filipino, and more.  

Earlier this month, the startup raised $2.8 million in pre-Series A round led by Orios Venture Partners and Better Capital.

The startup competes with Masai School, Newton School, Scalar Academy, etc.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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