Edtech denotes Education technology, technology dedicated to enhancing the experience for students, enabling them to learn more quickly using various tech based tools, applying the tools in classroom activities that helps to build engaging and individualized experiences of learning.
Edtech today goes beyond the simple classroom learning for young children or teens, today it is as much immersed in offering engagement tools for young working professionals and executive leaders. In the words of educator and author George Couros ‘Technology will never replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers is transformational.’
With focus on improving student outcomes, their learning experiences and enhancing their learning abilities as well as reducing the burden of instruction on teachers, Edtech is one rapidly growing and immensely cutthroat sector that is one of the top growing sectors across the globe. A large number of edtech brands have matured over the years with the help of emerging tech offering and facilitating learning for kids, teens and adults. Here is a look into some of the leading Edtech brands from India, a few that have also made it to the unicorn list in the last couple of years:
Founded in 2011 by Byju Raveendran, Byju’s is an edtech brand that is currently known to be one of the eminent leaders in the Edtech space in the country. This Indian multinational edtech brand is headquartered in Bangalore.
The brand began when Mr. Raveendran, known to have been a coach for mathematics since 2006, began to offer online video-based learning programs for K-12 student segments for their exams. By 2012 the firm had already entered Deloitte Technology Fast 50 India and Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific ratings.
2015: By 2015, the firm launched its learning app – BYJU’S.
2017: The brand launched BYJU’S Math App for kids and BYJU’S parent connect app.
2018: The brand reached 15 million users. 9,00,000 were paid users at the time. Also became the first edtech unicorn in India.
2019: 60% of the students for BYJU’s were from non-metro and rural cities.
2022: Signed a contract with Qatar Investment Authority to create a new edtech form as well as a R&D center in Doha.
From learning based on their class curriculum to test preparation and competitive exam preparation, Byju’s has a vast customer network captured in the country. Their focal offerings are based on their three pillars namely: Personalized learning journey, Technology enabled learning and Best teachers and engaging content.
Present day: Today the brand is part of the unicorn list and is valued close to US $22 bn with over 115 million registered users.
Launched in 2014, Vedantu is an Edutech brand co-founded by IIT-alumni Vamsi Krishna, Pulkit Jain, Saurbh Saxena and Anand Prakash. Vedantu offers online learning services to students from grade 4 to 12 of Indian Secondary Education and Central Board of Secondary Education.
One of their core areas and their primary business is live – online based tutoring in STEM, English, German, Social Science, Hindi and few others. Other than learning for school going students via their platform, the brand offers test preparation for IIT joint entrance exam (JEE), National Talent Search Examination (NTSE), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and problem solving assessment (PSA).
2019: Vedantu announced raising US $42 million in a Series C financing round for further expansion in India.
2020: Vedantu raised US $100 million in funding led by US-based Coatue
2021: Vedantu raised US $100 million during a post-money valuation of over US$500 million, as per Fintrackr calculation. It also acquired Instasolv. Same year, the brand invested in learning platform Pedagogy.
Read more: India’s tech unicorns
Present day: By march 2022, the brand launched W.A.V.E 2.0 – an interactive platform that is focused and aimed to support AI and ML.
An edtech brand founded in 2015 by Ronnie Screwvala, Mayank Kumar, Phalgun Kompalli, and Ravijot Chugh, upGrad is a start-up based in Mumbai.
upGrad Education Pvt. Ltd. – as officially known, is an online higher education brand that provides programs in the areas of data, technology and management to graduate students, college students, first-time job seekers and working professionals to help empower them and reach their peak potential.
-Their programs are curated and designed with top-notch collaborations with universities like BITS Pilani, MICA, Cambridge Judge Business School, IIIT-B among many others.
-The brand also offers one-on-one mentoring, peer-to-peer learning, industry networking and expert career guidance.
-Their course offerings include courses in high demand- Digital Marketing, Machine Learning, Insurance-based courses, MBA, IT based courses, Data Science and many others.
In 2021, upGrad achieved unicorn status with its then latest funding round – backed by Temasek International Finance corporation and IIFL, valued at close to $1.2 bn. This made upGrad the third unicorn in Edtech space, after Byju’s and Unacademy.
Founded in 2010 by Gaurav Munjal as Youtube Channel, Unacademy was then co-founded by Roman Saini, Gaurav Munjal and Hemesh Singh in 2015, now headquartered in Bangalore. This subscription based brand provides study material and learnings to students who are aspiring for civil services, bank jobs and few other competitive exams in India. This e-learning edtech platform aims to build an online knowledge repository for multilingual education.
2017: The brand received $4.5 million in funding as part of Series A and $11.5 million the same year as part of Series B from Sequoia India and SAIF partners.
2018: As part of series C, the brand received $21 million from Sequoia India, SAIF Partners and Nexus Venture Partners.
2020: In their Series E funding round, they received $110 million from US private equity firm General Atlantic, Facebook, Nexus Ventures, Blume Ventures among others.
Unacademy is known to be the second India Edtech brand to make it to the unicron list after Byju’s.
Kreatryx – to expand Graduate Aptitude Test in engineering and engineering services examination preparation services.
WiFiStudy – a YouTube-based online exam preparation ( for Staff selection commission, banking, railway and state policy) and learning platform.
Present day, the brand claims to have more than 13 million learners on its platform and over 50,000 subscribers for its Unacademy Plus Subscription with over 400 teachers across 20 exam categories. ( Like UPSC, IIT-JEE, CAT among others)
Launched in 2010 and founded by Krishna Kumar, an Indian entrepreneur and a student of National Institute of Technology Suratkal. Simplilearn started as a tech based blog however became later a training website for topics related to project management.
The brand claims to be the number 1 online bootcamp for digital economy skills training focused to help people acquire skills that they need to thrive in the digital economy we live in today. The brand offers individual courses, comprehensive and curated certificate programs with partnerships with world-renowned universities to help professionals and job seekers with work-ready skills they need to excel in their careers.
In 2018, the brand crossed over 1 million students on its platform from close to 150 countries.
Also Read: Digital Transformation for Business Agility
Today the brand provides online certification related to cybersecurity, project management, digital marketing, data science and cloud computing. It is headquartered in San Francisco, California with offices in Raleigh, North Carolina and Bangalore, India.
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