As an instant reaction to the pandemic, many schools and educational institutions swiftly adopted digital tools and online learning strategies. But now that things are starting to feel more normal, with businesses reopening and kids back to physical classrooms, many ed-tech companies are foraying into the offline spaces. In this way, the ed-tech industry is evolving once again to readjust as per the new rising demand.
Additionally, many startups have been eyeing to enter and excel in the ed-tech industry with raised funds and structural reforms for growth. The month of June also witnessed new exploration, acquisitions, mergers, and fundraising. As the world comes back on track post-pandemic, Edtech aims to fulfill the new demands with each passing day.
Let us see some of the primary highlights of the Edtech industry in the month of June:
1. PhysicsWallah and Byju’s Explore the Hybrid Model
Edtech companies such as PhysicsWallah, Byju's, Imarticus Learning, Cuemath, Vedantu, and Unacademy are on the way to growing their offline presence.
These ed-tech companies are focusing on a hybrid approach as the industry has come across a new demand, with more students returning to traditional ways of learning as offline institutions reopen.
These ed-tech companies believe that as education changes in response to the rise of digitalization and new technologies, adopting a hybrid model is a logical move. While online learning will continue to be rapidly adopted, classroom programs will improve instruction, in-person student-teacher engagement, and project work.
With Imarticus Learning, Unacademy, and others already foraying into the offline space to close the education accessibility gap, PhysicsWallah aims to open 20 offline hybrid classrooms or pathshalas across the country. A few of these have already opened with about 7,000 students. To make learning enjoyable at all levels, PhysicsWallah is incorporating ideas such as gamification and adaptive learning strategies.
Meanwhile, the largest ed-tech company in the country, Byju's, has disclosed agendas to invest $200 million in offline tutoring centers this year, expanding the number to 500 across 200 locations.
2. New Gamified Edtech Platform ‘Playvroom Studio’ for Students
A group of youth from Visakhapatnam, including some who previously worked for companies such as Google and CPM Australia, are attempting to pave a new path in the ed-tech sector.
Although they come from different backgrounds with different jobs, the desire to give students an engaging educational experience brings them together. They have developed the "Playvroom Studio," a gamified EdTech platform for individuals in the age bracket of 12 to 18.
These young entrepreneurs said that the platform's main USPs, compared to other EdTech companies, are its affordability, gamified learning, and free provision of virtual reality equipment. Due to extensive negotiations with multiple venture capitalists, it will enter the market within the next two months.
3. Edtech BrightChamps Aims for M&As for Growth
Children ages 6 to 16 can take online classes at BrightChamps in programming, AI, design thinking, and financial literacy. In the current fiscal year, ed-tech startup BrightChamps plans to complete mergers and acquisitions worth $100 million through stock and cash deals (FY23).
The acquisitions are most likely to occur in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the United States, the United Kingdom, and India. BrightChamps is doing very well and has already made a few acquisitions, including Education 10X. It is in the midst of further final negotiations and will soon close the deal.
4. Toprankers.com, EdSARRTHI, and Leap Scholar Successfully Raise Funding
Toprankers.com, the largest platform for careers outside of engineering and medicine in India and a bootstrapped Edtech startup, has received $4 million in Series A funding from renowned consumer fund Sixth Sense Ventures.
A group of angel investors helped EdSARRTHI, which offers mentoring for competitive exams like the UPSC CSE, raise its seed money.
As for Leap, it earned $75M in a Series D financing led by Owl Ventures. Since its establishment, it has raised more than $150 million in stock.
Lastly, TeamLease Edtech, a division of TeamLease Services that specializes in recruiting and human resources, seeks to collect roughly ₹125 crores from private equity investors.
5. PhysicsWallah Joins the Unicorn Club
PhysicsWallah, an ed-tech platform for engineering and medical entrance exams, has raised $100 million (around 777 crores) in its Series A funding round with the help of renowned investors Westbridge and GSV Ventures. It has thus reached a unicorn valuation in its first round of fundraising.
PhysicsWallah will use these funds for business growth, branding, opening additional PW learning centers, and introducing additional course options.
Post-pandemic, students, instructors, and parents tend to favor physical contact more. With this new demand around the corner, the ed-tech industry is finding optimal growth platforms while maintaining the online-first strategy.
Thus, the ed-tech companies are exploring various avenues to best fit the new environment while focusing on profitability, consolidation, and cost-cutting. Also, these companies are working with universities to use their physical presence. Their idea is to select the most effective components of being present offline and online to reach as many students as possible.