Bengaluru-based mobile micro-learning solutions provider Oust Labs has pivoted its business model from B2C to B2B. The company will now use its existing technology to provide gamified, skill-based training to blue-collar workers in corporates, college students, and other institutions.
The pivot was done around eight months back. However, the company was doing pilots and was amidst discussions with corporates regarding the usability of the model. Post-pivot, the company will continue running its free app for exam preparation on the Google Play Store.
Oust was initially launched with an aim to make exam preparation fun for students by combining the fun and social aspects of mobile gaming with a rigorous curriculum. The technology was based on a principle that humans now have an attention span of a mere eight seconds (a Microsoft study), and therefore, the study materials should get the needful done within that time frame.
The firm raised an undisclosed amount of Seed funding from T.V. Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education Services and Aarin Capital, in February 2016.
Although, the app was doing well, and claimed to have crossed 25,000 downloads within a few days of launch, there lies a question on the viability of the model in terms of monetisation.
As Shrikant said,
“If you look at players in the market who are more entrenched than us, like Embibe, Toppr etc., they all have been able to hit a large number of users, but the monetisation percentage is still very small. Although, we created a great tech, but it does not offer any pockets for monetisation, then what should we do? You have to test, experiment, and see better solutions for yourself to grow and this is a kind of moment that every startup goes through.”
The New Pivoted Model
Oust now offers a full-stack micro-learning solution that supports nine Indian languages. With Oust, companies can digitise their training, and create two-minute, micro-courses and assessments, and launch them in a very short period of time.
The aim is to make it easy for corporations to create rich content on specific topics of interest to ensure that their employees learn in short bursts of time.
The Oust micro-learning platform consists of the Oust App (available on the Web, Android & iOS) and Oust MPower management portal that not only helps in authoring and delivering content to the users in real-time but also helps in measuring learning outcomes with real-time analytics.
The users can complete their training modules anytime and from anyplace and in an easy, stress-free manner as each module is represented in the form of an interactive short game with audio and visual elements for better interaction. It not only reduces the hassles of creating centralised, long duration training programmes but also claims to have a better impact on overall learning pace of the employee.
Mumbai-based on-demand home services startup Zimmber has recently started using Oust for its service providers -Zimmber Champs. “We, at Zimmber, have always been innovative in delivering value to customers and ensuring the upliftment of our service providers – our Champs. After extensive evaluation of several products, we chose Oust. With Oust, we created short 2-minute-long, micro-courses and assessments in Hindi, and saw a completion rate of 82% within 24 hours of launching a course,” said Amit Kumar, co-founder and COO of Zimmber.
“Oust is about employee training and skill development for institutions with 100 to lakhs of employees. It has been a tremendous transformation for us as a startup which build the product, find customers with specific pain points, and then scaling the business with a set of repeatable use cases,” said Shrikant.
Oust is currently working with a team of 15 from offices in Bengaluru and Belgaum. It has been in trials with a select group of large enterprises in India over the last six months, and is now available for all corporations and educational institutions.