[Startup Bharat] These edtech startups are bridging the education gap in non-metro cities
In the past two years, Indian edtech startups rose to the fore when the Indian government shut down educational institutes amidst a deadly COVID-19 pandemic.
While students in metro cities quickly adapted to using online edtech platforms, students belonging to Tier-II, III, and beyond cities and rural areas could not access basic education daily.
According to a Praxis-IVCA report, the Indian edtech market was pegged at $117 billion in 2020, expected to grow over two-fold to touch $225 billion by FY25.
Today, edtech startups span across sectors, including K-12, higher education, vocational training, and corporate training sectors.
Technologies like AR, VR, blockchain, and STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) Labs are also convincing teachers and parents that products offered by edtech startups in India can be a part of the overall learning mechanism of a student.
These edtech startups are bridging the gap for innovative edtech solutions in smaller Indian towns and cities.
Dhurina Ventures Private Limited
Haryana-based edtech startup Dhurina Ventures Pvt Ltd was conceptualised and founded in June 2019 by four friends — Sachin Sardana, Ajay Kumar, Murari Singh, and Sanjay Singh.
The e-learning platform provides online guidance, classes, and materials for state, regional, and central level competitive examinations to aspirants from Tier II and III cities, suburbs, and rural hubs, thereby bridging the learning gap between Bharat and India.
While it aims to bestow quality education to students across India, it started its journey in the towns and city outskirts, as the founders feel these are neglected areas. It also takes special care in teaching specially-aided students.
Essentially a mobile application, the edtech startup offers online learning courses for state level and central level competitive exams and skill-development courses by state experts and educators of India.
Headquartered in Fatehabad, Haryana,is also operating in Rajasthan, Bihar, Delhi, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Jammu and Kashmir.
With a team of over 200 qualified educators and experts across India and studios and setups in various locations, Dhurina caters to more than 15 lakh students from across the country.
The edtech startup has raised $1.2 million in its pre-Series A funding round concluded at the end of 2021. The app has a total of over 3.5 million downloads.
Silicon Valley-headquarteredSpeak helps one to speak English more fluently. The Google-backed edtech startup uses proprietary speech technology with deep learning and AI to detect pronunciation mistakes with 95 percent accuracy.
ELSA claims its accuracy is the highest in the market as it holds the largest audio dataset of non-native speakers, and its AI can adapt depending on the speaker’s mother tongue.
The personal virtual pronunciation coach claims to have witnessed a rapid growth in its users, marking over three million downloads in India, resulting in more than 25 million users globally.
In India, the startup has about 37 percent users in Tier I, 63 percent in Tier II and III cities, and over 3000 users in smaller towns and villages.
ELSA aims to expand its user base up to 2X by the end of December 2022. Besides, the startup has partnered with more than ten enterprises from diverse industries, including hospitality, airlines, higher education, and edtech, such as Uolo, Stones2Milestones, Sahi.ai, etc.
At present, ELSA offers more than 1,600 practical lessons and 30,000,000 practice exercises to empower the world's 1.5 billion English learners to speak the language confidently.
Secunderabad-based, founded by Sunitha Infovision Ltd in 2017, focuses on conceptual and skill-based learning controlled and managed by schools.
The edtech startup helps schools implement blended learning techniques such as flip classrooms, which includes animated self-learning video content of a maximum of five minutes on any topic, considering students’ short attention span.
The startup facilitates flexibility through “anytime-anywhere learning” so students can learn without any time-bound constraints.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the startup implemented the OAKS app — available on Android and iOS platforms — for four lakh students in over 1,000 schools spread across 31 districts of Telangana.
As accessing smartphones was a challenge for students in rural areas, teachers from each school started an “Adopt the Village” initiative, where they adopted two to three villages.
They visited these villages twice a week and provided students access to smartphones so they could learn at their desired pace.
The app reduced a teacher’s workload with its automated OAKS score, providing a personalised learning path for every child and enabling teachers to conduct live sessions and upload tailor-made videos for a better understanding of subjects.
Students followed a hub learning model, where students of a higher class guided 5-10 counterparts in lower classes, allowing over 78,000 students in rural areas to access the OAKS app.
At present, OAKS caters to schools in South India and West Asia, including Manipal International Schools, Baldwin Group of Institutions, GEMS International Schools, Kennedy Group of Schools, St Peter's Public School, St Anthony Public School, and International Indian Schools, Saudi Arabi.
GetWork Co-founders(L:R) Rahul Veerwal, Sumit Gupta
HRtech and edtech startupaims to democratise job opportunities for students by empowering college placement cells in Tier II and III cities of India.
Launched in 2019, the Gurugram-based SaaS-based platform trains more than one lakh college students. It connects corporates to over 18,000 placement cells across colleges and private institutes in more than 100 cities and towns.
Considering the market competitiveness, a huge skill gap exists among students across India, especially in Tier-II and III cities, which implodes the campus placement system, making it challenging for students to secure quality opportunities in the market.
To overcome the challenges faced by campus recruiters, GetWork helps placement cells with aggregating resumes and managing and disseminating job opportunities for its students.
Founded by Rahul Veerwal and Sumit Gupta as a result of their own experiences while studying at MNNIT Allahabad, the co-founders recognised the potential of AI and ML to build GetWork as a solution and scale it up through college placement cells.
GetWork was selected for India Accelerator's 2020 summer cohort, where it closed a pre-seed funding round led by Rudraksh Ventures and IA. Earlier this year, it raised Rs 2 crore in a seed round led by Artha Venture Fund.
GetWork aims to scale up to over 500 colleges this financial year and get more than 5000 companies to hire through its platform. It also plans to expand to cities, including Mathura, Agra, Meerut, Bijnor, Karnal, Chandigarh, Jind, Rewari, Rohtak, etc.
Bengaluru-based edtech startupaims to provide access to quality and affordable K-12 education and after school activities and engagements for parents in metros and Tier II, III, and beyond cities.
It has developed, tested, and operationalised a proprietary search and decision-making technology, which uses both the prowess of technology and human counsellor to make the best possible decision for the parent.
It incorporates complete parent onboarding and outsourcing of admission offices for schools, fee payment, and loan products for both parents and schools.
In the last four years, Edustoke has helped over 11 million parents make the appropriate decision about their child schooling options.
The startup has listed over 17500 pre-schools and day schools in over 10 cities and boarding schools across India.
Edustoke claims to have achieved unit profitability, with revenue of over Rs 40 million.
The startup aims to serve over 50 million parents in the coming few months, scale admission support to 30 cities, and realise over 20,000 school admissions.
It also aims to launch and operationalise a series of K-12 after schools and allied services, incorporating discovery, selection, administration, content dissemination and billing and payment systems in both offline and online modes.