How ExtraaEdge is leveraging machine learning and marketing automation to make college admissions predictable

Tapping into the marketing needs of the education sector is ExtraaEdge, a B2B vertical SaaS company that enables educational institutions to automate, streamline and manage their student en
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As educational institutions evolve to survive following the pandemic-led lockdown, there has been a drastic shift in the way they leverage deep marketing automation and predictive analytics to acquire students. Today, student acquisition remains a big challenge. The cost to acquire a student is extremely high while conversions are low. There is poor return on marketing and the inability to optimise cost across acquisition channels requires fine tuning of go-to-market (GTM) engines. Tapping into the needs of this sector is ExtraaEdge, a B2B vertical SaaS company that enables educational institutions to automate, streamline, and manage their student enrollment funnel and optimise marketing costs through data science, marketing automation and predictive analytics.

Founded by Abhishek Ballabh and Sushil Mundada, ExtraaEdge delivers all the required tools for end-to-end automation of admission processes. ExtraaEdge, with its data analytics software, combines the modern scientific approach to study and analyse student behaviour by allowing institutes to measure their ROI during the admission period. It allows to take corrective measures by optimising efforts at the micro level. This increases footfalls during admissions and reduces the time spent on marketing efforts. ExtraaEdge’s inbuilt reports dashboard is an effective mechanism to analyse the performance across multiple centres, franchises, teams, and marketing channels. It is a real time tracking of marketing ROI, conversion funnel, and the counsellor’s efficiency.

Currently, 250+ global education brands and admission teams are engaged with ExtraaEdge. The company claims that 18 percent remote counselling teams have increased their conversions, while online application automation has witnessed 22 percent growth and there has been 100 percent digitisation of universities’ offline admissions with 88 percent conversational bots-led counselling.

Massive marketing spends

Education institutes spend millions in marketing. For instance, the University of Phoenix, the largest private university in the USA, with 1,00,000 seats and a revenue of $420 million, spends around $60 million for marketing. In India, the Narayana Group sets aside a marketing spend of over $60 million. IDP, an international education specialist providing vocational courses to over 75,000, has earmarked a marketing budget of $60 million.

Statistics reveal that 70 percent institutions have a marketing budget of more than 45 percent for the online medium. 60 percent of institutions have their own dedicated admission and marketing teams. 62 percent spend shifting from conventional offline advertising to digital brand building. 30 percent targeted gross enrolment ratio by 2022 bringing 5 million students to the supply side. This has opened doors for a global market opportunity to the tune of $18 billion.

“Education brands and other important stakeholders of the ecosystem are on the look-out for a technology stack to run their admissions process in a seamless manner. Although new business models are getting validated in the education industry along with a new-age technology stack, student acquisition is still a white space. ExtraaEdge is building that stack via leveraging the power of machine learning and new-age marketing automation to make admissions predictable,” says Abhishek.

Meet the team

Abhishek, CEO and Co-founder, ExtraaEdge, has earlier worked with HSBC GLT in various positions. He has also worked with MindTickle Inc (Series A, B, C), a fast-growing B2B SaaS startup.

As COO and co-founder, Sushil brings in his rich experience as a business analyst at HSBC and Global Technology Services. As an ex-HSBC-GLT (Lead BA & Architect – Global CRM), SLP Fellow with 15+ years of experience in Cloud CRM, Enterprise Product Management, Business Development & Customer Success, he strengthens the team with his solid analytical background.

Supreetha Gonsalves is the AVP - Sales with over 15 years of learning in a B2B SaaS environment. An entrepreneur at heart and a sales professional by choice, her cross-industry experience combining education, pharmaceutical and IT has taught her to be an experimentalist.

Other important members in the team include Daksh Agarwal, AVP – Growth; Sagar Kinholkar, AVP - Engineering; and Deepak Chauhan, VP - Customer Success.

With their combined passion for education and knowledge expertise in data and CRM, they contribute to taking ExtraaEdge to the next level.

Future roadmap

Adding over 180 customers, the company’s SaaS yearly revenue has catapulted 120 percent, recording $1.1 million annual recurring revenue in 2021. With the sector growing at 18 percent CAGR and likely to reach approximately $30 billion by 2025, ExtraaEdge is on a mission to be the most preferred education CRM and marketing automation software assisting institutes in scaling their admission processes.

ExtraaEdge has raised $1.7 million from leading early-stage VCs Sprout, Pentathlon ventures, 9Unicorns, and leading early angels Indian Angel Network, TIE Pune, and FirstCheque. It is building the future of SaaS enrollment with its data-science powered admission and marketing technology. ExtraaEdge's marketing stack can potentially enable half a million education institutes and brands to acquire the next 30 million students.

Having already onboarded leading institutions like Lead School, Allen Education Services, and global universities like BITS Pilani, Dubai, Manchester Metropolitan, ECCU USA and edtech brands like ImagineXP, AhaGuru, Narayana Group, FindFilo among others, it is aggressively pursuing all education brands towards digitising their admission process and offering end-to-end integration.

“We currently enable the 250+ education brands to digitally acquire the next millions of Gen Z and millennial students. This is a path to category leadership as the leading admission technology player in the global education market, double down on product capabilities to power admission teams, and look at a wider global expansion,” Abhishek concludes.


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