Studybase is powering up digital infrastructure and academics for schools through its next generation school platform
Choosing the right school for your child is an important decision that every parent has to make. From academic staff to extracurricular activities, from distance to fees, parents need to consider a host of factors. And once that’s done, keeping track of administrative updates from the school, interacting with teachers and administrators, and keeping track of your child’s progress at school can be a daunting task.
One solution that has helped transform the school management system experience in India is Jaipur-based Studybase, which provides an end-to-end digital platform that enhances the experience for both parents and school administrators.
Bridging the gap between institutions and parents
Anuj Ahuja, Founder and Chief Product Officer,says that a majority of schools in India still do not have a good online platform, with disconnected solutions, lack of after-sales support, poor end-user experience, and low adoption by schools, teachers, and parents holding them back from embracing a truly digital environment.
“We are observing high expectations of parents from the school in terms of digital experience as they have experienced it with B2C edtech companies and others such as Amazon and Swiggy in the last few years. This experience was on steroids during COVID including home-based or hybrid learning. Modernisation of schools not only in terms of infrastructure but all digital touchpoints are playing a significant part in selecting a school for their kids,” Anuj says, adding that schools require much more than what traditional administrative software providers currently offer.
“Every school has unique requirements and very little IT experience and resources to support digitisation. Most of the back-end software struggles to scale and schools end up using on average 4-5 different applications for fee, transport, content, communication, etc., with limited onboarding or flexibility. In many cases it hurts the image of the school, textbook publishers, banks, and fee financing companies,” he explains.
Back to roots
While Studybase was launched in 2017 as a minimal platform supporting digital payments, pending fee calculation, communication, and custom report cards, it has now evolved into a solution with a range of features that has tangibly improved the schooling experience for institutions and parents. These include admissions management, fee payments, digital lesson planning, topic based hybrid learning, custom report cards and performance reports, curriculum repositories with content, transportation, payroll, leave management, store, digital marketing, and data analytics.
With over 20 years of experience in tech and product leadership roles across the world with companies like Dell, Hyves, Telegraaf, and Elsevier, Anuj heads product development and technology at Studybase. Having worked in Amsterdam for 10 years, he co-founded Studybase with his brother Aashish Ahuja, before returning to India in 2019 to focus on the company full-time. Aashish himself has worked with edtech startups and within the education sector for over 15 years, and now drives academic relationships and implementation at Studybase.
Scaling to new heights
Just a few months after its launch, Studybase was able to onboard 17 schools as customers with Anuj calling it an “instant hit” with institutions, thanks to their focus on engagement and integration. The company’s client base has now grown to over 500 schools across 15+ cities and four states, with most of them being private schools located in Rajasthan and other parts of North India.
“One of the benefits of working closely with hundreds of schools with an agile product development team that has more than 20 years of international technical experience is that we have been able to iterate and refine use cases. Most of the heavy-lifting of digitisation is picked up by the Studybase team, making it very easy for schools to integrate with — for example, biometric devices, GPS devices, plugins existing vendors, banks, publishers, and payment gateways — without sharing student data. Our schools are delighted with our speed and quality of iteration, and it is evident from the very high renewals,” Anuj shares.
Boost from iStart Rajasthan
Initially bootstrapped, the company has since raised funds from IIM Udaipur and is part of Microsoft for Startups. Most recently, it was awarded funds at the Rajasthan DigiFest 2022 from the iStart Rajasthan program as part of their Techno Fund scheme, as well as received two seats at the iStart Nest Incubator in Bikaner. “iStart is helping Studybase by, firstly, providing mentorship with a lot of experience and expertise. Second, by connecting us with the right people for collaboration, exploration, or funding from the industry and government. Third, iStart is also financially supporting Studybase at various stages,” Anuj explains.
With a growth rate of almost 100 percent year-on-year in terms of paying schools, and digital transactions growing 3x a year, Anuj says Studybase is now EBITDA positive and has big plans for its future. “Based on the positive response we have received from schools, we are planning to scale Studybase in a few neighbouring states. We are also working on development of K12 content that will help teachers in the classrooms,” he concludes.