Coronavirus: A Boon For The Edtech Sector

Coronavirus: A Boon For The Edtech Sector

  • 04/10/2020
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The coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire world to a sudden halt. And the nationwide lockdown that ensued in hopes of containing the virus now is affecting over 50 crore students. It has completely disrupted this academic year. However, educationists are coming up with better alternatives to traditional classroom learning. The paradigm shift in the Indian education system towards e-learning platforms has seen a sharp rise.

Investors Dig The Edtech Sector

 

We are all trying and adjusting to the New Normal we are also creating it at the same time. And without missing a beat, investors have enabled the edtech sector to become the next big thing. While recently, many large sectors have taken a huge economic hit, the educational technology sector is booming. Notably, just in the first half of 2020 itself, Indian edtech startups have raised $795 million. This is a huge jump from the previous year’s overall collection of $108 million. Indeed, in H1 2020, they have contributed roughly 20% of the total venture capital investment. In fact, Byju’s has become India’s second-highest valued startup after Paytm. And undeniably, this 7x increase in the numbers is due to the restrictions faced by both educational institutes and students alike. This extraordinary growth of the edtech sector is proof enough for India’s changing educational ecosystem. Here are a few statistics showing the spike increase in investments by venture capitals in the edtech sector since 2019:

 

 

Edtech Startups Boost Service

As the edtech revolution is bubbling in India, the startups have proactively boosted their services to gain traction. To combat this, these platforms are heavily focusing on pricing innovation, sales innovation, user base expansion, and vernacular content availability.  Hence, “freemium” models with a mix of offline + online mode can be found almost on every platform. With hopes to retain these users as paid customers in future, the e-learning firms are leaving no stone unturned to help the students. In fact, services like Toppr, and Gradeup are also providing free access to live online classes and video. From small screens and flexible timings to regional languages and cheaper data consumption, edtech companies are making sure they reach every pocket of the country. And the ever-escalating smartphone and internet penetration in India is gradually making this happen.

 

 

The top venture capitals investing in the edtech sector are:

Edtech Sector’s User Base Expands

Educational technology players like upGrad, Vedantu, Byju’s, Millioncenters, etc., have experienced booming growth in their user base. As the country has the largest population of 4 to 23-year-olds in the world, e-learning tools and methods have come to their aid during this lockdown. Younger students are continuing with their curriculums and more online, with the highest spike seen for NEET and JEE courses. On the other hand, the professionals are utilizing this time by upskilling themselves. In professional courses, IT subjects like AI, DevOps, cybersecurity, etc., have the largest demand. In fact, many platforms have reported around 80% surge in their paid users since May. With enquiries doubling every other week, live classes have seen a 100% month-on-month increase. Moreover, these unusual times have also pushed B2B growth wherein schools, colleges and even tuition are aggressively adopting digital tech-based solutions.

 

Let’s take a looks at a few startups that are reshaping the edtech sector of India -

 

  • Byju’s: This app mainly focuses on science and math, and has become the second-largest startup in India in 2020. With over 50 million users, the platform has raised funding from Sequoia Capital India, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Sofina, Verlinvest, Tencent, etc.
  • Toppr: This personalized app deals with science, commerce and medical competitive exams. The platform has given free access to live online classes and videos during the lockdown.
  • MillionCenters: The app connects students with teachers and learning centres near them.  This platform is being widely used by students and teachers especially during the coronavirus lockdown that has left people with a lot of free time in their hands.
  • GradeUp: This popular app used for the preparation of competitive exams like UPSC, JEE, NEET, GATE, etc. And keeping the spike in users in mind, it has boosted its service with the freemium model. 

 

It is safe to say that this global pandemic has finally made online education a mainstream model rather than a second fiddle to traditional classroom learning. 



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