Hyderabad-based startup Way2SMS, which had earlier worked its way into the free and unlimited SMS business, is on a new journey. After his maiden successful venture at way2sms.com, Raju Vanapala, founder and CEO, is upbeat about his second venture called LearnSocial.com. Founded in 2006, way2sms.com was India’s first free text messaging portal that also allows you to chat, get email and social media alerts. But online education has got its attention now.
“It was a risky business initially, as balancing the cost against revenues was a big challenge. But I decided to take the risk as a challenge and soon, there was a runway success,” says Raju.
LearnSocial operates in the online learning space and offers live instructor-led online courses on a wide range of topics including technology, languages, business management, robotics, arts such as music, editing, and many others. The platform equips each trainer to deliver a special learning experience to any individual from any remote corner. It has partnered with over 200 experienced experts to teach on this unique learning platform.
India’s online education market size is set to grow to $40 billion by 2017 from the current $20 billion. Emerging technologies like cloud, Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT) are changing the way e-learning content is being produced and consumed, he adds.
Raju Vanapala is a first generation entrepreneur who is passionate about web and mobile revolution. Driven by his passion, he founded LearnSocial. He looks after the operations and is responsible for strategic plan to drive the business ahead. Equally passionate about India growth story, he aspires to contribute to the emerging India. His objective being to answer the much debated topic “why not Google and Facebook from India?” with his successful ventures. Raju Vanapala also dreams to create a billion dollar company in India in the internet space.
LearnSocial.com is a fast growing online learning marketplace for instructor-led and self-paced courses. This unique platform aims to become a nucleus of learning where students, job seekers and professional can learn new things.
The platform has passionate industry experts instead of professors to train learners online through live
sessions. The students can learn from anywhere with 1 Mbps or lesser internet connectivity.
“The edutech space has a lot of opportunities and we started LearnSocial.com, a platform where anyone can discover and learn anything,” Raju says. The core offerings of the platform are real-time interaction between learners and instructors which enables two-way communication between both the parties.
The instructors can share their screen with the learners and the learners can ask questions/queries/doubts from the instructors through chat or audio communication during the session. The students will experience real learning through assignments and assessment modules and project works and case studies.
On the revenues front, Raju says that LearnSocial is profitable as of now. “We are looking at series A funds of about $5 million which is expected to be closed in the next three to six months. We do not want to build any lifestyle brands, we are a mid-tier commerce portal. The way forward is e-commerce and education through LearnSocial and make it as a global entity,” he adds.