Kota-based Eduncle is helping students crack competitive exams for higher education through holistic hybrid learning platform
Higher education in India has always been in demand, with the growing number of student enrolments a testament to that — latest figures from the All India Survey on Higher Education showed that more than 38 million students enrolled at higher education institutions in 2019-20, growing 11.4 percent over five years. To keep up with that demand, there was also a 30.5 percent growth in the number of universities and similar institutions over the same period.
And while the Indian edtech industry is expected to grow in valuation from $750 million in 2020 to $4 billion in 2025 — at a CAGR of nearly 40 percent — most of its focus has been on the K-12 sector, with higher education and test preparation left to traditional learning methods.
Tech-based learning methodology
To address that gap, Dr Amit Pareek, Founder and CEO,started his startup in 2016, after his own experience with entrance and competitive exam preparations in Kota, popularly known as the “education hub” of India. While there was a large number of students appearing for these exams, not everyone could afford the costs of quality preparation and tutoring, nor had access to them.
Aiming to bring holistic hybrid learning for college students, providing aspirants with end-to-end test preparation and guidance for higher education exams, Eduncle helps students prepare for a number of competitive exams such as IIT JAM, UGC NET, CSIR NET, GATE, SSC, and more, through classroom coaching, hybrid classes, live classes, video lectures, printed material, automated doubt solutions, and test series, as well as one-on-one mentorship sessions.
“The edtech space's major players left many areas of improvement in the education sector untapped,” says Arpit Pareek, Co-founder and COO, Eduncle. “To address these issues, our team developed innovative tech-based learning methodology that helped identify gaps in learners' knowledge and make them focus on the right topics in a comprehensive environment,” he adds.
Figures don’t lie
Using a hybrid approach to learning, Eduncle’s focus on competitive exams helped bring aboard students from remote areas as well. Founded by Dr Amit, Arpit, and Harshit Goyal, Co-founder and CPO, the startup went from idea to revenue within six months of its inception. Six years on, Arpit says Eduncle has acquired 10 percent of the online tutoring market and covers 34 courses over five competitive exams, with more than 3.6 million registered users and over 52,000 paid users. The startup has also registered 300 percent year-on-year growth in enrollment for their live-classes.
However, Arpit adds that the constantly evolving educational landscape hasn’t been easy to navigate, from the lack of good educational resources and faculty to changes in exam pattern and syllabus, and poor internet accessibility in Tier II and III cities.
“To resolve these shortcomings, we constantly plan and develop content for new exams and subjects, and onboard live class faculties who have ties with registered colleges and universities that can help create a network of educators. We are also building an in-house live classes app, upgrading our gamification, and tracking incorporating student behaviour analytics to ensure the best user experience,” Arpit says.
The iStart connect
Eduncle has also seen support from the iStart Rajasthan program that promotes startups in the state. “The program funded us through the Techno Fund scheme to increase our tech capabilities, apart from helping us connect with various other funding platforms. iStart also gave us the opportunity to showcase our services and startup at the DigiFest 2022 in Jaipur and other events,” says Arpit, adding that the program also provided them with a 10-seater co-working space in the newly created iStart Nest in Kota.
What started with a team of five now boasts more than 160 employees, along with 75 full-time teaching faculties, and more than 700 tutors. With a vision to become India’s top career-focused, affordable learning platform for every college student, Arpit says the startup now aims to start providing all-round education for government exam preparation and other skill-oriented courses such as for digital marketing, freelance-based courses, and more.