India, the capital of the global EdTech industry, is growing astronomically. Here’s what you need to know
Currently valued at about $21 billion, India’s most valuable start-up and the world’s most valuable EdTech start-up, Byju’s is looking to raise further – as much as $4 billion – to more than double its valuation to close to $50 billion. The 2011-founded start-up launched its first digital platform in India in 2015 and is now looking to list both in U.S. and domestic markets.
If it goes through, it would be the largest SPAC deal to date.
But Byju’s isn’t the only Indian EdTech firm on the path of aggressive expansion. Leading players in the Indian EdTech environment – such as Vedantu, Unacademy, upGrad, etc – are all pushing the Indian EdTech industry forward by leaps and bounds – and how! In fact, since 2020, India has seen four EdTech start-ups turn into unicorns (valuation of over $1 billion: Unacademy, UpGrad, and Eruditus and Vedantu) and one into a decacorn (valuation of over $10 billion: Byju’s).
Valued at about $2.8 billion at the start of 2020, the Indian EdTech industry is set to gross almost $10 billion by 2025, growing at an outrageous 40% CAGR, according to Inc42. This growth, according to the Indian Brand Equity Foundation, “is driven by rising demand for non-academic courses from tier II & III cities and the need for personalisation in the EdTech space. Out of the projected market value of US$ 4 billion, US$ 1.5 billion will focus on K–12 (Kindergarten to Class 12), after school foundational and pre-preparatory courses.”
Indian EdTech start-ups managed to raise almost $1.43 billion across 100 deals through 2020. Disruptions and subsequent lockdowns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have forced an almost epochal shift in the way the country looks at education, compelling “both parents and educational institutions to implement tech-enabled learning solutions, making EdTech the most funded sector in the country. Of the total funding raised, Byju’s leads with 57%, followed by Unacademy (10.5%) and Vedantu (9.5%)”, according to IBEF.
- The rise of edutainment: Gamification has gained much popularity over the recent past, with recent studies having found over 70% of students considering it more motivational than traditional ones.
Several companies such as Toppr, Cuemath, PlayAblo or Byju’s have introduced learning through games and puzzles to make it fun for students. Other firms such as Kutuki Kids Learning, Enguru, Kiddopia and Lido Learning are making inroads to make education interesting for younger kids through interactive videos and music as well.
- The hybrid EdTech: Experts opine,players in the EdTech segment are set to adopt a hybrid channel approach for the future, with online platforms establishing offline touchpoints for students as well. Byju’s has, for example, piloted ‘Byju’s Learning Centre’, a new hybrid model allowing students to visit offline educational centres for classes as well.
With an increasing number of Indians now with an active internet connection (622 million active internet users in 2020, set to grow almost 45% to reach almost a billion people by 2025, the growth of EdTech seems to be a rather promising prospect for the years to come. Consequently, several leading Indian EdTech firms, backed by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), announced the formation of the India EdTech Consortium (IEC). Business Standard notes:
“Aligned with the government’s recent advisory, the IEC will ensure that every learner shall have access to quality and affordable education, which not only improves their academic performance but also makes them future-ready.
With consumer interest at the core of the consortium, the EdTech companies have committed to observe and adhere to a common ‘code of conduct’ and establish a two-tier grievance redressal mechanism to ensure that the positive impact of the industry reaches every deserving consumer while protecting their interests and promoting their rights.
Several EdTech entities have joined the IEC such as Byju’s, Careers 360, Classplus, Doubtnut, Great Learning, Harappa, Times Edutech& Events Ltd, Scaler, Simplilearn, Toppr, Unacademy, upGrad, UNext Learning, Vedantu and WhiteHat Jr.”