After the pandemic struck, students are now forced to sit at their computers during their formative education years. A professor droning on in a Zoom class was not interactive enough. This desperately presented an opportunity for more engaging learning opportunities globally. The need for more attractive platforms increased as digital learning became the new normal. Edtech startups began to fill this void.
While the entire world struggled to put their businesses afloat during the pandemic in 2020, the edtech companies experienced a surge in growth. In fact, even in a country like India, a survey found that roughly 59% of school students relied on edtech platforms to aid their academics. The survey also pointed out that only 23% depended on their peers and 17.5% utilised tutors. Another report by KPMG and Google suggests that the edtech market is bound to grow to 9.6 million users and the market is to be valued at $1.96 billion by 2021. In India, this growth is translated to $10.2 billion in the next five years.
The pandemic also exposed the digital divide in society. While we had names like Byju’s and Unacademy already established in the pre-pandemic market, their exorbitant fee structure and English-based education made them inaccessible to certain sections. This is the space that some of the emerging edtech startups are trying to occupy.
Emerging EdTech Companies
Every company is trying to carve out its name in this emerging landscape with unique offerings. That is why in this article, we will talk about a handpicked list of edtech companies that are making waves in the new market.
If learning anywhere, anytime, at your own pace is not a priority, ClassPlus offers an excellent solution. They act as a bridge between tutors and students, providing the administrational support. Empowering faculty with the ability to record their lectures, digitize their tests, and reach out to a wider student range. This opens a student’s accessibility to quality teachers outside their geographical location. However, they do not own any of the content, the teachers on the platform define the quality of the service. Launched in 2018, the initial worth has increased ten-fold.
In a similar vein, the company holds live classes, however this company strongly believes that recorded videos do not compare to the live classes taken. The lectures are not recorded for later watches.Their proprietary learning platform claims to connect students to certified teachers in an engaging manner. They have curated courses for entrance exams. Teachers for various boards are available on the platform. However, it might be too similar to students’ online school experience.
If your child does not want a second classroom experience, but would prefer to spend time practicing problems and applying the concepts learned, DoubtNut’s services might be the right fit for you. The app allows the student to clear any doubts while solving a particular problem by searching through its massive video repository containing all the solutions for the problems in the textbook and reference books. The entire CBSE student curriculum is supported, complete with the NCERT textbook solutions and supporting textbooks’ solutions. Established recently in 2020, the company has already witnessed 10x revenue growth.
The coaching industry shares a huge chunk of the industry. However, most of the focus lies on the K-12 population. There are not enough resources for those professionals preparing for other government exams. This is the problem tackled by Testbook. They host resources – test papers, notes – in a freemium model. About 15% of the content is available to everyone, but to fully utilise its potential, a subscription at a minimal annual rate. With claims of improving the exam score by 53% and selection rate in government exams by 7%, they are well on their way to grow.
This Noida-based company has a narrow focus to democratise quality education. Initially they did this by setting up tablet-based labs in budget schools, but the pandemic has compelled them to pivot to WhatsApp chatbot assisted learning. Small chunks of learning bytes are transferred to users via WhatsApp, giving access to quality content at the comfort of their homes without any further investment. Since June 2020, they have recorded 10 million users in the less privileged section of the society and are hoping to reach 40-50 million by the end of 2021.
A major challenge for the teachers was to devise a method of testing as pen and paper exams were out of the door. Quizizz gamifies the test taking experience, by making the interface interactive and engaging. The platform also provides instant analytics on the test. After a steady growth, the platform now enjoys 65 million monthly active users.
The shift towards digital learning has definitely accelerated over the course of the pandemic. The edtech market is expanding in its offerings – from DoubtNut’s ability to quickly search and comprehend a textbook problem, to interactive quizzes by Quizizz to online classes by Vedantu. Each child has their own unique learning style, and there are now a multitude of options to choose from. There is no doubt that the choices will only grow over time. Choice of the best education has now shifted from the best school to the best tools and resources to equip your child with.
DoubtNut, a Gurgaon-based startup, has an ambitious aim to provide video solutions to every problem in textbook and reference books. It also uses image recognition and NLP technologies to allow its users to upload an image of the problem statement to automatically search for solutions. They intend to support class 6-12 CBSE students, the entire syllabus covered. CBSE class 12 students have the extra benefit of preparing for various entrance exams as well. The website and app have the option to watch the videos in Hindi, making the solutions available to a larger crowd. The content is allowed to be shared on WhatsApp, the most popular messaging app in India. The courses are available at a minimal cost.