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The Edtech Startups Setting Pace In India

There can be no argument that the demand for online test preparation solutions is high but the bigger question is how effective these test prep startups are in outcomes and are they the right replacement for the traditional offline coaching. Edtech has always been pegged as a great equalizer which could deliver access to good education in remote areas. However, as the coronavirus lockdown pushes all educational institutions to adopt digital education, equality in education remains a far-fetched idea. Among the Ed-tech sub-sectors, K-12 education startups with $4.3 Bn in total market size is predicted to have the single highest market share — 41% of the total Ed-tech market in India.

The Union Cabinet in July 2020 approved the New Education Policy (NEP), which aims at universalization of education from preschool to secondary level. NEP-2020 will replace the National Policy on Education-1986 and is an inclusive framework focusing on the elementary-level of education to higher education in the country. The Policy reaffirms that bridging social gaps in access, participation, and learning outcomes in school education will continue to be one of the major goals of all education sector development programmes.

With the outbreak of Covid-19 in India, private and public schools have struggled to facilitate classes physically. Naturally, this opened up new frontiers for edtech startups in the Indian market, especially the ones looking at the enterprise or B2B segments. The Indian online education market, presently worth $247 million is on a growth spree and is estimated to witness an 8x growth over the next 5 years to achieve the growth benchmark of $2 billion by 2021. Also, the Indian Education Sector values up to $100 billion and has been experiencing quite a lot of action in terms of Edtech startups with statistics stating that the number of students registering for online courses has been steadily increasing at the rate of 70% annually. However, the wave of Edu-Tech is not only helping the young students but also unfolding possibilities for those professionals who are looking to upgrade their skills.

Many educational start-ups are cropping up in every part of the country to meet the growing demand of the learners, making it difficult for the students to choose the appropriate learning platform. Here are the top 10 Indian edtech companies of the bunch that brought forth a change in the Indian education sector.


Top Edtech Startups in India

  1. BYJU’S: 

Byju’s is an Indian edtech and online tutoring firm launched in 2011 by Byju Raveendran. The company has an estimated valuation of $11.1 billion and is a leading market player with the highest market share in India's growing edtech space. Recently it has also collaborated with Disney to launch a learning app for classes I to III. The company reported its revenues for the financial year 2017-18 at $69.4 Mn (INR 490 Cr), a 97 % jump since the last financial year. It is looking to achieve a revenue target of (INR 1400 Cr) this financial year. It offers learning programmes for students in classes IV-XII along with courses to help students prepare for competitive exams like JEE, NEET, CAT, IAS, GRE, and GMAT.


Unacademy is an Indian online education technology company based in Bangalore. It was originally created as a YouTube channel in 2010 by Gaurav Munjal. As a company, it was founded by Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini, and Hemesh Singh in 2015, and is headquartered in Bangalore. The company has a network of over 18,000 educators. The company claims to have more than 10K registered educators and over 13 Mn learners. It also says it gets 100 Mn monthly views across its various platforms such as Unacademy, Unacademy Plus, Wifistudy, Chamomile Tea with Toppers, Unacademy Studios and The Solutionists. Some of the courses offered are UPSC, SSC, JEE, NEET, IIT-JAM, NEET-PG, TET exams, CA CS and LAW exams. Till date, the company has raised $88.5 Mn.


Vedantu is an Indian interactive online tutoring platform where teachers provide tuitions to students over the internet, using a real-time virtual learning environment named WAVE (Whiteboard Audio Video Environment) a technology built in-house. Vedantu’s W.A.V.E platform has been granted an IP Patent for ‘Measuring the Effectiveness of An Interactive Online Learning System’ that helps teachers in identifying a student’s attention level, increases student-teacher interaction, doubt-solving, participation in gamified quizzes, and customization of teaching patterns owing to constant feedback. It has raised $59.9 Mn since its inception in 2011. IIT, NEET, NEET crash course, CBSE, ISCE, NTSE, KVPY, RMO are a few of the courses made available by the platform.


Khan Academy is an American non-profit, educational organization created in 2008 by Salman Khan, which creates a set of online tools that help educate students. The organization produces short lessons in the form of videos. The website also includes supplementary practise exercises and materials for their pupils. Computer programming, macroeconomics, microeconomics, personal finance, prep SAT, prep LSAT etc are a few of the courses that are offered by Khan Academy.  


Cuemath is a math learning program for children aged 4 to 14 (Kindergarten to Grade 8). This program is offered at home-based centres across India and is built by Cuelearn Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore based math education company.  This online program provides certified teachers to teach a research-backed mathematics curriculum with the help of cutting-edge technology. The program covers many boards including ICSE, CBSE, IGCSE and IB.


Doubtnut is an Indian interactive online tutoring app which was started by Tanushree Nagori and husband, Aditya Shankar, in 2016. In 2009, the couple had started giving offline tutoring to grade 9 to 12 students where they taught mathematics and science. It is extremely popular in low-income groups where demand for low-cost educational services is high. Doubtnut has witnessed a 30x growth in its daily active users since March 2019. The app can read questions in 11 Indian languages, as well as English. The company has over 13 Mn monthly active users across several platforms. Few areas and courses covered by the app are IIT, JEE, MAIN crash course, NEET, CBSE and state board syllabus.

  1. Toppr:

This is an educational app that serves videos, lessons, mock tests, on your smart device. It covers the curriculum of classes between 5 and 12. Toppr caters to the individual learning styles of candidates and provides the widest K12 syllabus coverage with 1.5 million course combinations. It currently has over 10 million students on its platform and helps them prepare for various school, board, and competitive exams. It also uses artificial intelligence, machine learning, and big data to study student behaviour and create adaptive learning paths with infinite combinations.


Meritnation is a platform complete with elaborate live classes, multimedia tutorials, interactive exercises, practice tests and expert help, endeavour to make school easy for students and help them score. Meritnation's headquarters is in New Delhi. Meritnation has received a total of $15.3M in funding to date.

As per DataLabs analysis, test prep and K-12 edtech startups combined are estimated to be worth $1.3 Bn by 2021. The ones given above are a few of the many startups looking to tap this burgeoning opportunity in the Indian market. Besides K-12 education, for kids and younger students, coding is the next frontier as a slew of startups are looking to gain headway in this segment. As many schools are going online and relying on virtual classrooms, the adoption of edtech B2B services and products will grow, just as the adoption in enterprise tech tools has grown in the last 6 months.

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