Edtech startups move to non-English users as e-learning makes inroads in smaller towns

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Published: September 23, 2019 7:49:16 PM

Edtech: There are more than 3,500 education startups in the country that are vying for a pie of growing online education market which is set to touch $2 billion in the next two years.

Edtech, Edutech, Startup, Education Startup, Edupreneur Village, Basic First, Scholr, Tiktok, Edutok, Don't Memorise, Memory TrixEdtech startups have received a lot of attention from domestic and overseas investors.

E-learning: Indian education startups are evolving rapidly to cater to the needs of hundreds of millions of non-English medium students. According to a report prepared by Google and KPMG, there will be 280 million students enrolled in schools by 2021. This large number of students presents a unique opportunity for edtech startups as primary and secondary supplemental education market is one of the fastest-growing segment within the e-learning market that is expected to touch $2 billion in next two years. A Noida based edtech startup Basic First has launched live online courses in 9 different languages for those primary and secondary students who are not comfortable with English.

A range of edtech startups have come up in the education field in the last three years. Startups like Mumbai-based Don’t Memorize, and Scholr or Delhi based startups like Memory Trix have been coming up with different solutions to solve the problems faced by students as App based learning is fast replacing the role of personal tutors.

With the use of technology, two distinct trends are emerging – the use of explainer videos and use of a student’s native language – to explain the context and help them understand the concept. This is different from the rote learning practiced in conventional schools since ages.

While startups like Don’t Memorize use short videos to help students understand the basic concepts of mathematics, other startups like Basic First are trying to tap those students who are tech-savvy and can use online live classes but are not comfortable with English.

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“We intend to reduce the difficulty of language for Indian students as a vast majority of our population, across the length and breadth of the country, might not be sufficiently comfortable with English,” said Randhir Kumar, founder, and CEO of Basic First.

In addition to English, this startup will also offer its content in Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Telegu, Oriya, Bangla and Marathi to overcome the language barrier of non-English students.

The country’s edtech start-ups have unicorns like Byju’s that have been valued at over $5.7 billion following the recent funding of $150 million.

The country’s e-learning market is expected to grow to $2 billion in the next two years. However, it is extremely small in comparison with the global e-learning market that is pegged at nearly $200 billion.

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Funding spree for edtech startups

Edtech space has a lot of potential and attracting the interest of domestic and overseas investors.

Last month Edupreneur Village Fund, Sri Aurobindo Society’s early-stage fund for education startups, announced the investment in several education startups following a massive screening exercise that shortlisted 10 finalists from over 11,00 startups.

The fund will invest in Mumbai based edtech startup Scholr that offers AI powered digital learning app for students and Don’t Memorise which produces short videos to help explain the concept of mathematics, including Vedic mathematics.

In addition to this, two other startups Mintbook, online content curation platform, and One0x, an edtech startup that provides a blockchain-based solution for storage and access of a student’s learning and educational records were also shortlisted for partnership.

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Videos to dominate the content

Earlier this month, viral video maker mobile application Tiktok also announced its foray in edtech space with its initiative called EduTok.

Tiktok partnered with e-learning companies like Vedantu, Vidya Guru, Hello English, CETKing and Testbook and several others to tap the emerging market of explainer education videos. TikTok’s entry into education videos is set to expand and reach of edtech startups that lack the scale and resources of large players.

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