Four edtechs that can beat screen fatigue and offline competition as per their VC

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Four edtechs that can beat screen fatigue and offline competition as per their VC
BCCL
  • Ankur Mittal, the co-founder of Delhi-based VC Inflection Point Ventures is not too worried – though he has funded at least nine edtech companies.
  • “There are many kinds of business models that are coming up like hybrid learning and alternate learning with after-school classes which are here to stay,” Mittal told Business Insider India in an interview.
  • Even as actual schooling goes online, after-school classes might continue online because of the convenience that they provide — and they will stand the test of time.
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The story of edtech startups is biblical - two years of good luck, followed by at least two more years of bad luck, as per current forecasts. After a year of stellar funding, VCs are deserting this pandemic-driven sector as offline classes resume and young children and adults alike report extreme ‘screen fatigue’ in learning.

Beating the screen fatigue
However, Ankur Mittal, the partner at Delhi-based VC Physis Capital is not too worried - though he has funded at least nine edtech companies. In fact, he had funded three of them in the last two months.

“If you look at edtech only from the prism of exam prep, yes there is saturation because so many startups were funded. In the end, only a few will survive. But there are many kinds of business models that are coming up like hybrid learning and alternate learning with after-school classes which are here to stay,” Mittal told Business Insider India in an interview.

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Even as actual schooling goes online, after-school classes might continue online because of the convenience that they provide — and they will stand the test of time. Factors like traffic, the inability of parents to drop off and pick up their children from these classes — will ensure that some amount of learning will stay online.

“By then, a large part of basic learning will be offline so there would be less of the fatigue too,” claims Mittal. Moreover, people are now used to online learning and the habit will not go away too soon.

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Music, astro-chats and admissions
Inflection Point Ventures has also invested in non-academic edtech startups. One of them is Spardha, which gives music classes online and has seen interest within and outside India in the US, UK, Australia and Canada.

“Then we have Homi Labs which holds masterclasses on space and astronauts - things like how an astronaut wears a suit in space. They brought Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to travel in space to talk to children. This is something even I would be interested in,” says Mittal.

Yet another edtech they funded is Edvizo which helps private universities get students. Large universities with tenured professors and running costs are keen to gain more students and this edtech helps them bring them to it.

It also invested in Geekster, an integrated edtech and HR platform that trains people to get tech jobs. “They are running programmes with a job guarantee,” explained Mittal - and he believes all these investments will survive through the edtech fatigue.

Good time to invest in edtechs
Mittal goes as far as to say that it could be a good time to pick good edtechs and invest in them. For one, no other edtech company will enter the market, the valuations are reasonable and good founders may be able to build good businesses with lower costs.

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“Any company you invest in now will have a 15-18 month runway to build their business in an economical and efficient fashion without crazy salaries or crazy attrition. People who join now will stay for a long time without expecting a 40-50% bump in their salaries. And the basic reason for the growth of edtechs is lack of change in teaching pedagogy in education hasn’t changed,” he says.


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