A chat with Zishaan Hayath, 34, Co-founder of Toppr reveals how the complete lack of options available in the EdTech sector inspired him to debut his startup:
From April 2013 when I started Toppr, an online competitive tests and exams preparation portal in Mumbai, till 2014, it was about getting the right product/ market fit and experimenting, who will use it and who will not. Edtech, which has a huge potential, is highly underrated in India. Our current education system is of very suboptimal quality than what India needs and only Internet and technology can improve it, which itself is expanding, improving yet getting cheaper. Edtech (started around 2014) currently is what e-commerce was in 2007, which accelerated in 2011. It will accelerate in 2017. Moreover when 4G will expand in India, edtech will shoot up as it will unlock the strength of video and other channels.
Set for Edtech Boom
Test prep is the fastest growing vertical followed by K-12 in edtech space in India. The estimate market size is $5-8 billion for the IIT and medical test prep. We are currently serving 5-12 standard students. By the end of 2014, we had 50,000 users, who grew astronomically to 650,000 by 2015 end. That’s almost 20 times growth. While there are similar companies existing including Merit Nation and Embibe but the proof is in the pudding. The way our app interacts with the user, its design, etc. differentiate us, just like how Facebook is different from FriendFeed or Twitter from Plume, Talon, etc. Apart from that, we are an adaptive and a personalized app with eight-10 times larger question bank, engagement rate that is five times higher than others and three million questions being solved each month from students spending around 10 hours per month. Toppr is also presumably higher than most players in the market in terms of content as our question bank has 200,000 questions and over 100,000 solutions.
This year, we will launch test prep for fiveseven standards as we want to reach out to two million students. From current share of 80:20 of test prep against K-12 respectively, we think the two will arrive at 50:50 share by this year end and by next year the latter will overtake. We add about 3,000 users every day and have 150 employees, up from just five people in the last one and a half years. Our courses range from Rs 3,000-6,500, depending upon the program and duration.