Delhi-based, edutech startup, Cue Learn has raised an undisclosed amount from former Managing Director of Canaan Partners, Alok Mittal. The startup is a portfolio company of Unitus Seed Fund, which earlier led the seed round investment in the company.
Cue Learn has plans to expand operations across India to reach 25,000 teachers and around half a million students in next three years, with an aim to reach 1,000 teachers within an year.
Cue Learn was formed by Manan Khurma and Jagjit Khurma in 2013. The startup provides after-school math learning (tuition) solutions among K8 students. The startup uses unique combination of paper-based worksheets, tablet-based interactive learning technology and skilled instructors resulting in high level of student engagement.
CEO and Co-Founder of CueLearn, Manan Khurma said, “CueLearn is enabling homemakers and other non-working individuals to become at-home educator-entrepreneurs by adopting our revolutionary tech-driven learning systems.” The startup claims that these micro-franchisees can earn upto $310 (INR 20,000) in a month while working for few hours in a week.
CueLearn’s flagship product, CueMath, is an approach to make math learning delightful by engaging students through experiential learning. Unlike traditional classroom-based tuition providers, Cue Learn is capital efficient and highly scalable, enabling rapid growth from Tier I, metro cities to the smallest rural village.
Former MD of Canaan Partner, Alok Mittal, said, “After-school learning space in India as the opportunity is immense, with no real market leaders at present. CueLearn’s approach to this problem is a business model that is asset-light and extremely scalable, while ensuring high-quality academic delivery.” Alok is an active angel investor and co-founder of Indian Angel Network and Indifi.
Understanding Online Education Market in India
The Indian education market is estimated to grow at $40 Bn by 2017, whereas, Cue Learn assesses that the tuition market or after-school learning market in India is highly-fragmented and is pegged at $5 Bn.
One of the reasons being that India is a youth country and half of the population which is below the age of 25 is exposed to the Internet & mobile devices. The education industry has witnessed eminent players entering the market frequently and creating a niche for them. Moving away from regular chalk and board model to the online platform, edutech startup are offering e-learning, augmented reality, live video streaming and even smartphone and tablet learning.
Just a few months back, two startups in the same domain, LogicRoots.com, which offers maths learning to primary classes in the form of interactive games, got $400,000 funding from ah! Angels and Flipclass, that offers need based home tutoring solutions, got $235,000 (INR 1.5 Cr) from LetsVenture.
Fragmentation of Online Education
The online education market in India is categorised into two major segments viz K12 (a sum of primary and secondary education) and Higher education.
The K12 segment has players which either partner with schools to help transform their curriculum like Curiositi, Eckovation, MeritNation or players like Logicroots, Sigrid Education, Flipclass, which reach out to students across the country through its online platform.
There are few other who operate in different category of education domain like:
- iDreamCareer, Career360, Careerfunda offering career counselling to the students
- EduKart, Rise India, Learnsocial that play more of an aggregator role helping students connect with various educational institutions
- Simplilearn offering online professional certification platform
The education domain has a lot of opportunities lined up in various segments which is attracting even investor’s interest. The investors are backing heavily on the domain seeing its potential ROI. In recent updates, Villgro, an impact investment firm, had announced $3 Mn (INR 20 Cr) fund to invest in education startups working primarily in areas pertaining to improving learning outcomes for school-going children and skills training for urban youth.
Unitus Seed Fund is a frequent investor in edutech startups and has launched various edutech competitions like TiE EduThon, StartEdu and StartEdu3, to identify, mentor, incubate and invest in early-stage education startups. It was also reported that media industry veteran and serial entrepreneur Ronnie Screwvala had announced his plans to launch online education startup, called U Education to focus only on higher education.