These 4 women-founded edtech startups were launched during the pandemic

With the interest in India’s education space ever-growing, these women entrepreneurs have started various learning platforms during the pandemic.
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Pandemic or not, the learning must go on. This seems to be the shared sentiment among India’s young learners and students, entrepreneurs, and investors alike. 

In fact, investors have pumped in $2.1 billion in the edtech sector in 2020, which is more than the total amount edtech received in the past decade ($1.7 billion), according to a research report by Anand Rathi Advisors Limited (ARAL). The industry is further expected to reach $12 billion in value by 2025.

It is not surprising then to see more entrepreneurs looking into the various niches in India’s education – from upskilling, academic and K12 education to extracurricular learnings.

HerStory has been keeping a track of women entrepreneurs who helped to grow the edtech space and bridged the learning gap during the pandemic. Here are some of their ventures:

Whiz League

Natasha Jain and Sonia Agarwal Bajaj, Co-founders of Whiz League

Entrepreneurs Natasha Jain and Sonia Agarwal Bajaj noted that young learners have little clarity on the path to unconventional careers and decided to start Whiz League amidst the pandemic. 

The learning platform offers pre-recorded modules in non-academic and career-specific skills from industry experts such as Guru Randhawa imparting lessons on becoming a rockstar, chef Ranveer Brar on mastering spices, Mukesh Chhabra on auditioning and casting in Bollywood, among others. 

Its feature Whiz Launchpad allows students to submit an assignment and stand a chance to collaborate with the experts after completing the course. 

Despite the time-consuming process of getting the experts on board, the duo was able to launch the product in April 2021, within five months of conceptualising the idea. They are now in talks to raise the first round of funding.

Spark Studio

(L-R): Kaustubh Khade, Namita Goel, Anushree Goenka

Bengaluru-based startup Spark Studio hopes to give equal footing to extra-curricular learning in India’s education space. Its founding members Anushree Goenka, Kaustubh Khade, Namita Goel, and Jyothika Sahajanandan are of the firm belief that such activities can go a long way in shaping a student’s creative and cognitive abilities.

The platform offers courses in music, speech and debate, as well as visual arts for children between the ages of six and 15.

Having raised its first round of investment from Better Capital last month, it is now focused on building a seamless user experience and scaling the team. 

LessonLeap

LessonLeap co-founders Anusha Mahalingam (left) and Deepti Sahi (right)

Mumbai-based LessonLeap offers live courses in extracurricular courses like public speaking, honing language command skills, and writing by engaging students in fun activities.

Founded in October 2020, it was born out of Anusha Mahalingam’s concern for her two daughters when they could not continue extracurricular activities due to the lockdown. She then teamed up with her best friend and batchmate from Harvard Business School, Deepti Sahi, and targeted students from kindergarten to the sixth grade.

Starting up with an undisclosed pre-seed funding round from Berlin-based Point Nine Capital and four angel investors, half of its team is based out of The Netherlands.

With over 20 teachers on board at the moment, the startup offers a premium pricing range of Rs 500 to Rs 1,200 per session.

Moving ahead, the startup is looking to expand further in India and venture into international markets like Singapore, the UAE, and London.

Academix

Shreya Nallapaneni, along with Suraj Singh and Kalpit Shah, hopes to solve the skill gap among job seekers and employers through their Ahmedabad-based upskilling startup Academix

Founded in January 2020, it offers various courses in management, communication, new-age technologies, designing, Microsoft skills, and digital marketing.

Academix targets engineering graduates and makes them realise the importance of such skills, but the courses are open for learners from all educational backgrounds.

Incubated at GUSEC, its programmes — in the form of workshops and live classes running up to six weeks – cost Rs 12,000-15,000 per student. 

With five teachers on board, the bootstrapped startup has conducted seven programmes with over 1,000 students in attendance so far. Besides onboarding more teachers, it is looking to the internship market as well.

Edited by Kanishk Singh

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