New Breed Of Edtechs Will Emerge In Near Future: Co-founder, Uolo

"Edtech is an effective intervention for students but the cost of products today is prohibitive.The idea of Uolo is to bring high quality yet affordable edtech products to Indian masses," said Pallav Pandey, Co-founder and CEO, Uolo

Uolo offers schools for free, a state-of-the-art mobile app for school-parent communication and school management. Using this app, schools are able to offer their students high-quality education programs at affordable prices in the after-school hours.

The core idea behind Uolo is to take education technology to the masses. Edtech is an effective intervention for students but the cost of Edtech products today is prohibitive. Around 70 per cent of the products are priced higher than Rs 20,000 while 50 per cent of the parents are ready to pay less than Rs 5000. The idea of Uolo is to bring high-quality yet affordable edtech products to the Indian masses.

Fundraise and Plans

Uolo will utilise the funds to increase its investments in products and technology to make its school platform more robust. A part of the funds is also reserved for the acquisition of edtech companies whose offerings are relevant to Indian private schools.

What is your say on the current layoffs in the edtech sector?

Many B2C edtech businesses are fundamentally flawed. There are issues around:

● High CAC. Poor LTV/CAC

● Products priced three times higher than parents’ budget

● Limited time with the child after schools reopened

● Missing context of school

These issues were reflected in the poor unit economics of these businesses but investors were hopeful of a turnaround. The reality around the structural issues in these businesses has become evident to investors now and they are not supporting these businesses further, leading to layoffs.

Since there is an inherent need for edtech products in society, we will see a new breed of edtech companies with new and robust business models in near future.

Do you think edtech business has come to a saturation point?

Edtech in India has just started. The early edtech companies in India have established that parents are valuing edtech solutions enough to purchase them and pay at par with offline solutions. However, these companies have not been able to create a sustainable business model. 

We believe that just like 40 per cent of Indian students study in a private school; we can expect half of India to be consuming EdTech products as well in the next 4-5 years.

What are the key learnings from the year 2022?

In 2022, we saw how PhysicsWallah propelled to being a profitable company leveraging youtube and we also saw how after the Covid, as schools reopened they squeezed out most edtech companies.

For me, the key learning is that there are only two natural habitats for K-12 students. In the online world, it's youtube and in the offline world, it's the school. Everything else that is artificially and unnaturally erected by the force of capital will cease to exist in the fullness of time.

Do you have any plans to collaborate with colleges or higher education institutions?

India is the world's largest K-12 market with 270 million students in school. The needs of these students are very different from college students and Uolo wants to remain focused on the schools only. In fact, Uolo focuses only on private unaided schools where 40 per cent of Indian students study.

Where do you see the EdTech industry going in the next five years?

India’s online education market is expected to grow at a CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 21 per cent between 2020-24 to reach a market size of USD 14.33 billion which demonstrates that prospects of development in the mentioned industry are vast. With the increased public awareness about edtech and digital technologies across the tier-2 and tier-3 cities in the country, a sizable untapped market will contribute to a promising future for the EdTech industry in India in the next 5 years.

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