8 Indian Edtech startups to watch out for in 2016

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According to an education survey conducted by HSBC, educating their children is the ultimate goal of 51% of Indian parents. So, it is not surprising that education is the next front on the horizon of the entrepreneurial Indians leading to the emergence of many interesting edtech concepts.

Most of the edtech startups comprise faculty pool, online education material and technology working in tandem. Most of them cater to various sections of the student community, ranging from schoolchildren to working professionals and budding entrepreneurs.

While there is some focus on tuition for school-going children, others help in cracking entrance tests, and a few others focus on providing professional certification courses. Indian education system has come a long way from classroom education to redefining the way children are taught, and these edtech startups are responsible for this revolution.

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Embibe

Embibe is an online portal that consists of a team of entrepreneurs, who help students to get coaching for various entrance examinations like JEE, AIIMS, AIPMT, CET and many more. Founded by an ex-TCS employee, 33-year-old Aditi Avasthi, wanted to change the way students prepared for competitive exams.

At present, Embibe boasts of over one million student users. Last year, this edtech venture raised $4 million from early-stage investor such as Kalaari Capital and Lightbox.

CareerGuide

CareerGuide is an edtech platform targeted to provide answers to all the career related queries of an aspirant. They have a marketplace of renowned career experts from various fields and a student can connect instantly to get their query resolved.

How it is different than the other players? Well, Artificial Intelligence (AI) may be the answer. CareerGuide boasts of an AI-led algorithm that connects students with the best possible career guidance expert based on their query. Further, their psychometric assessments help students in figuring out their true aptitude, interest, motivation and personality to take informed career decisions. CareerGuide has most definitely emerged as the one of the hottest names in the edtech business as of now.

Vedantu

Looking for a personalised teaching while you sit at home? Vedantu, the live online tutoring edtech company, is conceptualized to bring personalization back into education where a teacher will teach according to the requirement, pace and level of a student and the student will interact with the teacher online.

The founders claimed the existing teaching system to be “institutionalized and generalized”, which quite possibly was the motivation behind this concept.
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According to Vamsi Krishna, cofounder and CEO, “The current system is teacher-centric and learning happens, predominantly, one-way. We want to change that.”

Vedantu raised a $5 million from Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management last year in May.

EduKart

EduKart is an online entrance coaching site that caters to the needs of almost every individual. Apart from courses for high school students appearing for various competitive examinations, the company offers undergraduate and post graduate courses for everyone who seeks help in management, engineering, medical, civil services, business, Law, and various other interesting courses.

The startup acquired $1 million funding from Holostik Group’s United Finsec, Yuvraj Singh’s YouWeCan Ventures, 500 Startups, and a bunch of other investors in June ‘15. EduKart projected 5x growth for themselves last year.

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UpGrad

If you are a working professional and want to upgrade your skill set, UpGrad is the place for you to explore. This startup offers online higher education programs for working professionals. With a highly experienced faculty forming academia advisory board, this company provides one-to-one academic and non-academic support for all its students by providing them with live projects, case studies, group assignments, access to live lectures and interactive content and many more.

“With UpGrad, we aim to revolutionise the online education industry by bringing credibility and scale. The response to our first course is a strong validation that we are on our way of achieving our vision,” said UpGrad founder Ronnie Screwvala.

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Toppr

This super-interesting edtech firm focuses on giving training to students aspiring for IIT JEE, pre-medical and also the foundation courses (starting from class 8) for various competitive examinations. They provide the students with unlimited practice tests along with learning material and students’ doubts will be answered personally on live chat.


Till date, Toppr has raised $12.2 million in three funding rounds from four investors, such as Fidelity Growth Partners India, Helion Venture Partners, SAIF Partners, InnoVen Capital India and Powai Lake Ventures.

WizIQ

WizIQ believes in delivering high impact online teaching and training through mobile apps by making virtual classrooms possible. Their online academy builder includes live classes, integrated cloud storage, mobile learning, tests and assignments and many other interesting features.

Hailed as the 'best virtual classroom provider' at the World Education Congress, one should expect a promising 2016 from WizIQ.

iProf India

iProf claims to be India's biggest Tablet PC based education content delivery company and digital education library that offers “smarter way” of studying through its advanced android based application that works on offline mode (without internet connection). Their USP is their content, which can be accessed both online and offline via pen drives, memory cards, tablet PCs in a secured and scalable environment.

iProf has raised $15 million in total funding through Series A & B rounds from Daily Mail Group Information, IDG Ventures India and Norwest Venture Partners – NVP.

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In a nutshell

The Indian edtech market is pegged at over $70 billion by 2017. The space breakup is estimated with higher education sector closing on 50 per cent, K12 at 40 per cent, and coaching/tutoring taking up 10 per cent. These emerging and successful startups are surely creating an impact and are making their presence felt. Books cannot be updated real time but these start-up can push updates on an app and this can be distributed to millions with no incremental cost which makes edtech definitely one of the most exciting sectors in the Indian consumer market. The funding battleground could perhaps change the face of this sector as well.

(The article has been authored by Utkarsh Sahu, a digital strategist with over three years of writing experience for business magazines, such as Business Insider, Huffington Post, Tech Radar, etc. He admires technology with paradigm-shifting attributes, and digital marketing, social media and content are his current beat. An analytics enthusiast, he likes to break down key performance drivers of a robust digital marketing campaign. You may connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.)

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(Image: Thinkstock)