Edited by Neha Yadav
How Edtech platforms are coping up with the hybrid model of education?
The Education industry in India has witnessed maximum disruption during the pandemic. Education today is no longer restricted to just traditional classrooms. The restrictions imposed by the Government and the rigid safety protocols have paved the way to new-age teaching.
A fruitful outcome of these disruptions, however, has been the openness of all stakeholders- the government, private and public schools, tutors, coaching institutes, students, and teachers- in adopting the digital mode of learning, leading to the EdTech boom we are seeing today.
The EdTech sector has been developing dramatically throughout the course of recent years, and, surprisingly, more so after Covid-19 hit. A Blume Ventures report (Note: this report depends on harsh suppositions) proposes that the EdTech market was near $750mn in 2020 and will hit $4bn by 2025. This is a sheer small detail of the bigger training market, assessed at $135bn in 2020 by a similar report. The market begins from early students who are in pre-school to persistent students looking to upskill themselves.
The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of technology in India’s education sector. Investors started pouring funds into a sector they were otherwise wary to touch, and India saw $0.5billion of funds flowing into EdTech in 2019, $4billion flowing into EdTech in 2020 & 2021 and currently valued over $22 billion. We now have 5 EdTech unicorns.
It really did seem like online education was here to stay forever, but with the lifting of covid-19 restrictions, life came full circle for this sector. The question remains, where is this sector going?
Byju’s had made its intentions and plans of expanding to offline very clear in April last year when it acquired Delhi-based Aakash Educational Services Limited (AESL) for $950 million to leverage the brand’s offline market share.
New logo of Aakash after merger with Byju’s
Image source: exchange4media
On the other hand, edtech firm Unacademy has taken a cue from its key rival Byju’s and announced its foray into the offline learning space by launching its own coaching centres, offering tuitions for competitive examinations.
Like Byju’s, Unacademy will also focus on NEET UG, IIT JEE and foundation courses for IX to XII grade students. However, Unacademy would still have a long way to go to match Byju’s-owned Aakash’s reach in the country, which has more than 200 tutoring centres. The firm said it would launch its first offline centre in Kota, the private coaching hub of the country. It will then launch similar centres in Jaipur, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, Patna, Pune and Delhi hoping to enrol up to 15,000 students in the first batch.
Unacademy has been aggressively building its presence across offline learning and exploring international expansion such as for medical entrances in the US.
Unacademy Co-founders (L to R), Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh, and Gaurav Munjal
Image source: Unacademy
Other Edtech Unicorns in India:
UpGrad: Started in 2015, UpGrad is an online higher education platform designed and delivered in collaboration with world-class industry and faculty and provides relevant and rigorous industry-related programs.
Valuation: $1.20B (August 2021)
Location: Mumbai, India
Founders: Mayank Kumar, Phalgun Kompalli, Ravijot Chugh, Ronnie Screwvala
Number of employees: 1,000-5,000
Funding Amount: $361.23M
Number of funding rounds: 4
Number of investors: 5
(L-R) Phalgun Kompalli, Mayank Kumar, and Ronnie Screwvala – Co-founders of UpGrad
Image source: Hindustan times
LEAD School: Started in 2012, LEAD School offers a technology-based school transformation system that provides quality education to students.
Valuation: $1.10B (January 2022)
Location: Andheri, Mumbai
Founders: Smita Deorah, Sumeet Mehta
Number of employees: 500-1,000
Funding Amount: $166.00M
Number of funding rounds: 5
Number of investors: 3
LEAD School founders Smita Deorah (left) and Sumeet Mehta
Image source: Vccircle
Vedantu: Started in 2014, Vedantu is an interactive online tutoring platform for students. It primarily provides services to students from Grades 4 to 12 of Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE) & Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
Valuation: $1.00B (September 2021)
Location: Bengaluru, India
Founders: Anand Prakash, Pulkit Jain, Saurabh Saxena, Vamsi Krishna
Number of employees: 500-1,000
Funding Amount: $306.38M
Number of funding rounds: 10
Number of investors: 11
Co-founders: Vamsi Krishna, Anand Prakash, Saurabh Saxena and Pulkit Jain (L-R)
Image source: bookofachievers
- India has been facing an education and employability crisis.
- Despite having 1.5 million schools, close to 40,000 colleges and 5 Edtech unicorns, the rate of literacy, quality of education and employability of our graduates is of concern.
- If technology can be integrated into the existing education system, into our millions of institutions and if edtech players can partner with them to offer quality at a sustainable, reasonable price along with strong outcomes, we will have a real solution to our education crisis.
- That is when this bubble of edtech emergence will not burst, but actually rise up to solve one.