According to Grand View Research, the global education technology market size was valued at USD 89.49 billion in 2020 and is expected to witness a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.9% from 2021 to 2028. Talking of India, Indian edtech Byju’s alone made a net profit of INR200 million in 2019 from a loss of INR280 million in 2018. Byju’s success quantifies the global position of India in the edtech market, but what qualifies India’s position in the education market are efforts in the fringe. Enters an Indian Angel Investor firm, Malpani Ventures, led by Dr. Aniruddha Malpani.
Intelligent Edtech Investment
Malpani Ventures is a sector-agnostic angel investment firm funding frugal innovation in India. “We want to partner with founding teams building great companies. We fund revenue-making companies to help them scale. Our portfolio includes education, healthcare, financial inclusion and software.” The Indian angel investment firm Malpani Ventures rates itself high on engagement, deep focus, learning agenda, and periodic evaluation of the fund recipient startups. Malpani Ventures openly seeks to invest in novel ideas & products packed by remarkable teams and scalable business models with adequate traction.
Commercial Edtech Enterprises are not Wrong
Today, if Byju’s has monetized education, Malpani Ventures is helping emerging edtech companies monetize the technology. Not only Byju’s, we see almost 90% of the Indian edtech market comprising Unacademy, Vedantu, Upgrad, etc., have successfully commercialized education. We can’t complain because in a capitalist world and in a country slapped by severe unemployment, if hardcore commercialization of education can generate employment and give the investors two trips to space now that is commercialized, why not? It is about the balancing act somewhere. And so, the role of Malpani Ventures in the Indian edtech scene is a promising avenue.
Social Impact Edtech Startups in India
As of today, Malpani Ventures has invested in nine edtech startups in India with plans to invest in more. But interestingly, the firms he invested in do not appear in the regular investment portfolio section as of July 12, 2021. The Indian edtech firms he invested in appear in his portfolio of philanthropy, which means his ROI from these edtech investments, is influence, a well-thought strategic incumbent that provides for the communities impenetrable by Byju’s and the likes. Malpani Ventures’ philanthropy buys a wholesale growth trajectory in the Indian edtech front with investments in startups focusing on free hands-on training to pre-career youth and gamification of academic syllabus for the school-from-home generation. We’d say he invests in social edtech startups.
Computer Shiksha is a group of like-minded professionals from various walks of life who have come together to put their skills and experience into communicating computer literacy to the bottom of the pyramid. Their Computer Literacy programme spread over 55 weeks covers basic computer usage and parts identification, training on basic content (word, paint, excel, email) processing, organizing, Internet browsing, and presentation skills. The venture also offers advanced computer literacy certification. The two standard delivery models of ComputerShiksha that made it so far is briefly described here. What makes Indian Information Technology (IT) pioneering globally owes to edtech initiatives like Computer Shiksha.
CodeTigers was born in 2015 to provide Indian students in K-12 a platform to prepare them for the future. CodeTigers edtech startup believes in education that is fun, futuristic, and affordable. At CodeTigers, they encourage students to learn Computer Science with a strong focus on Code, expecting every child to spend at least 1 hour each week in practicing programming fundamentals to develop through block-based coding platforms such as Code.org and Scratch. The startup CodeTigers humblebrags to be the first and possibly the only international partner of Code.org (the world’s largest initiative to teach Code) in India. Check out their Great Indian Coding Competition.
The Apprentice Project
What conventional edtech has achieved has no impact on how knowledge is processed, which actually deters the percentage of real learners and those who rely on rote learning. This is where The Apprentice Project that won the Harvard’s President’s Innovation Challenge has articulated learning techniques that encourage critical thinking and life skills. Rote learning has been a curse to the Indian education system for a long time, and The Apprentice Project’s novel idea to bust this practice and begin with the low-income communities of India; children who can’t tell innovative methods to learn and acquire real-world skills, deserves large-scale adoption in the country and abroad wherever applicable.
“Never memorize something that you can look up”
What is apparent is that Malpani Ventures has built a strong arsenal of investment portfolios divided into a set that will profit the hard line and the set that will impact the quality of Indian education. Besides Computer Shiksha, Code Tigers, and The Apprentice Project, Do not Memorise is another innovative edtech startup of rich social impact that reminds us of what Einstien asked the world, “Never memorize something that you can look up.” Other social impact edtech startups deserve mention are Beyond Exams, Learn With Comics, and Learning to Earn. The founders of these edtech startups deserve no less for their relentless effort in bettering education and, most necessarily, making better education accessible. So, the next time you think a Byju’s class is expensive or you need a change to keep one provider at its feet, consider the rich alternatives we have recommended in this brief coverage.
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