EdTech startups on a roll, bet big on India

With one of the youngest populations in the world and limited availability of good quality educational institutions and teachers, it is not surprising that education technology or EdTech will thrive in India. It will only get better as technology improves and teachers learn to use better tools to impart education to millions of students.

Sample this: A children’s character-based early learning app ‘Little Singham’ launched amid the pandemic hit a million downloads in just six months with an average rating of 4.70.

EdTech space received a total investment of $2.2 billion, according to a new joint report by Indian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (IVCA), and PGA Labs, the market intelligence business of Praxis Global Alliance (PGA), India claimed the second biggest chunk of the global industry whose market value increased from $409 million in 2019 to $1.5 billion in the first nine months of 2020.

Faisal Kawoosa, Founder & Chief Analyst at techARC says “Education is one area where one solution one approach won’t work for all. That’s where edtech startups are playing a crucial role in bringing variety to make it inclusive helping every kind and stage of a student.”

Reports suggest that EdTech startups around the world raised $10.76 billion last year, compared to $4.7 billion in 2019. As India hopes to revive its economy after the pandemic, the education sector’s future promises a new beginning with fundamental changes expected to take place with the implementation of new education policy. Also on the technology side India is likely to see the dawn of 5G services in the country which is poised to further transform the education sector. Technology could also help bridge an estimated shortage of around 700,000 primary and pre-primary school teachers.

5G telecom networks with data speeds nearly 1,000% faster than 4G, will empower teachers to reimagine what’s possible inside and outside the classroom. Teachers will be able to download high-quality, feature-length documentaries in seconds, able to teach students virtually in real time without delays and experiment with new concepts like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) in teaching.

Commenting on the growing role of technology in education Rishi Ahuja, Founder, Klip VR Immersive Technologies which offers world class VR experiences in classrooms states, “The new education policy reimagines education in India. As we weave along more and more aspects of our life with technology, education also need to take off with new age technologies like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality for fostering learning and growth of our future generations. 5G can bring about VR in education to offer an unmatched high-quality end-user VR experience to our students”.

Educationists like Nidhi Bansal, Pro-Vice Chairperson, Pacific World School also reiterate the growing role of technology in classrooms, “Technology has never been so critical in our education system. Today our decision making advocates use of technology in education. There are a plethora of opportunities like AR & VR to transform the way we deliver education to students of the 21st century.”

Better smartphone experiences have also led to the growth and expansion of EdTech startups. According to the recently released Nokia Mobile Broadband Report there has been a 4x increase in smartphone usage with an average Indian spending nearly 5 hours a day on his or her smartphone with nearly 46 per cent mobile data consumption on Fitness, Fin-Tech, Ed-Tech and E-Tailing eB2B.

On tapping the opportunity in Indian edtech space, Prerna Jhunjhunwala – Founder, Creative Galileo says “We see exponential demand for EdTech products in India and have aggressive plans to tap the ever-growing Indian Edtech market. India’s large untapped market, coupled with internet reach, and digitization has been propelling the edtech growth story and will be crucial in bridging the learning gaps across markets. Education should not be a privilege, it is the right of every child.” Indeed Ed-Tech is set to disrupt learning by bridging gaps in availability of teachers, using innovative tools and making quality education accessible to more students, anytime and anywhere.