The cofounder of edtech SaaS Schoollog, Abhishek Singh, said that educational institutions in Tier 2 and 3 cities face a lack of comprehensive systems to efficiently manage their day-to-day operations
Schoollog provides a solution that caters to parents, students, teachers and school administrators, aiming to streamline activities like parent-teacher engagement, fee management, real-time attendance updates and personalised student education
Schoollog has an active monthly user base of 2 Lakh and it aims to expand its reach and impact in the coming years
During his engineering days at IIT Ropar, Manoj Kumar got an opportunity to bring positive change in the city-based government schools while working with an NGO. Kumar and his friends visited multiple government schools and engaged with teachers, students and administrators to gain insights into their daily challenges. Kumar was told that many of these schools, particularly in Tier 2 cities and beyond, did not have comprehensive operational systems in place and, as a result, faced a lot of challenges in managing day-to-day operational and administrative tasks.
To address this, Kumar partnered with his techie friend Abhishek Singh in 2017 to launch a SaaS solution, Schoollog.
Jaipur-based Schoollog is an edtech SaaS platform, which has been designed to provide a comprehensive school management and communication solution. It streamlines and automates the administrative and operational processes of educational institutions. Further, the platform helps teachers, school administrators, students and parents to engage at all key levels.
According to Kumar, Schoollog also enables educational institutes to track students’ academic progress. ‘Teacher App’, which has 50K downloads, allows teachers to manage their day, syllabus and conduct tests, among other things (more on this later).
The startup’s ‘Parents App’ has 50K downloads, ‘Student App’ has 100K downloads and ‘Management App’ has 1,000 downloads.
Singh claimed that the Schoollog apps have, approximately, 2 Lakh active monthly app users. Meanwhile, tuition centres have a separate app, ‘TutorLog’.
“Schoollog empowers students to learn at their own pace, track classroom activities and improve their weak points. As for schools and tuition centres, the platform helps them save time and cost, and gain valuable insights into the performance of students and teachers. Parents can easily monitor students’ progress, make online fee payments and get homework and attendance updates,” said Singh.
Singh pointed out that tuition centres have a comparatively simplified management process due to fewer decision-makers in their system, as compared to schools. However, the need for personalised learning for students in tuition centres remains the same as required in schools.
Meanwhile, talking about the Rajasthan government’s iStart programme, Singh said that it has consistently supported startups through mentorship sessions, providing them with platforms like IT Day and Digifest for product promotion and introducing new schemes and programmes to aid their growth.
He said that the startup generated INR 4.1 Cr in revenue in FY23, registering a 70% YoY increase from FY22. Schoollog aims to clock INR 10 Cr in FY24, nearly 2.5X revenue growth from the last fiscal year.
Schoollog’s Initial Quest
In their startup journey, the founders of Schoollog encountered multiple challenges before scripting their growth success. Singh faced the initial hurdle of convincing schools to become early adopters of Schoollog’s product.
However, their efforts paid off when Sanjeev Kulhari from Sikar-based Daffodils World School showed faith in their vision and became the startup’s first client. Schoollog also faced the impact of the pandemic, with revenues dropping to zero in the initial six months, leaving them cash-starved.
Despite these obstacles, the founders found a silver lining. Prior to their financial struggles, they had developed a test platform to create a minimum viable product. Working remotely, they and their team built an MVP within twenty days. Once the MVP proved successful, the startup experienced significant growth, tripling its revenue in FY21 to INR 1.67 Cr from INR 55 lakh in FY20 and onboarded 500 schools and tuition centres.
Building on this momentum, the founders actively collaborated with educational institutions, engaging online to gain firsthand insights into their specific requirements. This valuable interaction allowed them to shape and refine their platform accordingly.
Furthermore, the initial schools that joined became passionate advocates for Schoollog, effectively acting as the startup’s marketeers. The organic word-of-mouth promotion played a pivotal role in the startup’s scaling efforts, attracting more schools to join based on positive feedback and recommendations.
Today, Schoollog leverages events, conferences, seminars and Google and Facebook ads to onboard new schools. However, the founders attribute their success to their partner schools for refferal, which account for 10% of their monthly sales. Additionally, Schoollog has mapped out the locations of schools and tuition centres, deploying on-ground teams to extend their services.
Schoollog’s AI-powered ERP System Connects All Key Stakeholders
Schoollog connects parents, students, teachers and school administration through the Learning Management System (LMS), an AI-powered enterprise resource planning system. LMS streamlines school management processes and is available in a plug-and-play mode, allowing schools to integrate Schoollog into their existing systems.
Schools can use specific services offered by the startup along with their current management system. For instance, they can leverage Schoollog’s personalised learning platform without disrupting their existing workflows. Parents, students, teachers and schools are connected by downloading apps, which cater to their specific needs.
Another key feature of Schoollog is an AI/ML-powered personalised learning engine for students. It recommends questions to students based on their learning journey, ensuring that every student learns at his own pace. This makes learning more effective and engaging. Kumar mentioned that the startup charges students a nominal fee of INR 10 per month.
Schoollog aids in increasing school admissions by providing a comprehensive admission CRM system. This prevents potential admissions from being lost. For instance, a school with 1,000 students can generate approximately 20 extra admissions through Schoollog, resulting in revenue of INR 10-15 Lakh in a Tier 3 city, according to Singh.
‘Teacher App’ empowers teachers to manage their day-to-day activities. The startup will soon introduce Power BI to provide more in-depth analytics later this year.
LMS accounts for 90% of Schoollog’s revenue and the remaining 10% comes from the personalised assessment solution. Out of the total revenue of INR 4.1 Cr in FY23, 60% was generated from schools and 40% from tuition centres.
Democratising Education In Tier 2 and Tier 3 Cities
Singh believes that schools in Tier 3 cities and beyond have not been able to embrace technology, and this is where he aspires to bring a change.
“With the launch of Schoollog Lite, we will provide cost-efficient tech solutions to schools from these regions. For this, we are actively working with banks,” he added.
The startup plans to align its offerings to schools and tuition centres with the National Education Policy (NEP) and aims to target Hindi-speaking regions like Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
Schoollog intends to raise funds to drive digitisation within the education sector. Singh believes that private investors’ sentiment is negative towards edtech startups that are not generating profits.
According to Inc42, edtech funding dropped 93% YoY to $100 Mn in the first quarter of 2023, due to the resurgence of offline education as Covid subsided.
Despite the headwind, edtech SaaS stands out as a promising sector in the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem. According to experts, edtech SaaS will be one of the key growth drivers for the Indian edtech sector in the coming months. Notably, it emerged as the top-funded segment in the first quarter of 2023.
Even though Schoollog competes with the likes of Teachmint, MyClassboard, PowerSchool, Schoolguru and Classplus, among others, it has an array of growth opportunities in the country’s $5.9 Bn (approximately) edtech market, which is expected to touch $29 Bn by 2030, as per Inc42’s estimates.
Disclaimer: This article is part of Inc42 and the Government of Rajasthan’s initiative to shine a spotlight on the state’s emerging startups