Covid-19 crisis puts growth of online education space on fast track

The company, which raised $24 million in fresh funding in February, led by GGV Capital, may also look at acquisitions as a lever to growth in the coming months | Photo: Representative image
The ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the lockdown may have devastated many sectors but it has clearly fast-tracked growth of the online education space.

Edutech firm Vedantu, which provides live online tutoring services to school students and those preparing for entrance and competitive examinations, is one such company.

The Bengaluru-based start-up, which is backed by marquee investors such as Tiger Global and Accel Partners, is now hoping to achieve the growth target it set for the next two years, in just six months. This is owing to the increased traffic it saw during the lockdown.

“We had set the ambitious target of 1 million user base in two years’ time. This month itself, the number would be around quarter of a million. So, we need to revise our target as we should be able to hit one million in the next month itself,” said Vamsi Krishna, co-founder & chief executive officer (CEO) of the firm. It has so far raised around $85 million in venture funding. “What we thought of hitting in two years, we are probably hitting in 6 months’ time. It’s a bit crazy growth,” said Krishna.

In December, around 90,000 students were attending classes on Vedantu’s platform. “We were already growing three times even without Covid, and with Covid, our aspiration is to grow four times,” said Krishna, an IIT-Bombay alumnus, who co-founded the company with Pulkit Jain, Saurabh Saxena, and Anand Prakash.

Since March this year, the company, which had made the basic version of its app free for users, has seen a four times increase in its user base. While Krishna agrees that there will be a correction in the user base as the lockdown eases, he is also optimistic that the surge will continue until coaching classes get back on track.

With the Covid-19 pandemic increasing the need of students to avail tuitions from home, the six-year-old firm is now getting ready to upgrade its content delivery platform further and come out with a web version 2.0.

“The idea is to make it much more interactive with huge focus on personalisation. That means, in a batch size of say around 200 students, I would feel as if getting the same attention that one would have received in a batch of 5-10 students,” he added.

In terms of offering personalised content, Vendantu has already developed technology to monitor the performance of each student in a live class. For example, if there’s a class of 100 students who are being taught Newton’s laws of motion, each student will be tracked for how many correct answers he/she gave and how fast.

Based on this, each student will be sent personalised content after the classes.

The company, which raised $24 million in fresh funding in February, led by GGV Capital, may also look at acquisitions as a lever to growth in the coming months.

“Given the current situation, a lot of companies may not be able to raise funds. So, it is a good opportunity and we are clearly open to that,” said Krishna.

As far as fundraising is concerned, Krishna said the firm has enough capital to sustain for the next two years. It is going aggressive on branding and adding more categories to its offerings.

It has already launched a coding and an English programme while a math module is on the cards.

  • Vendantu to launch upgraded version of a delivery platform
  • Aims to offer more personalised, interactive content
  • Firm may look at acquisitions to fuel growth
  • Well capitalised for next two years
  • To honour all job commitments

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