6 Upcoming Business Models In Edtech

Opportunities in booming edtech have opened doors for innovative services and offerings

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India's edtech startups are surely having their last laugh. A few years ago, we would find experts often talking about the challenges in the sector and the difficulty in scaling up. Many edtech startups also shut shop and only some raised funds.


Today, tables have turned and according to KPMG’s Online education in India: 2021 report, the industry could be worth $1.96 billion by 2021. Be it BYJU’S acquiring companies such as Aakash Educational Services, Great Learning, Toppr or upGrad acquiring KnowledgeHut, edtech is in the news every day and opportunities galore for all players in the space. 

Besides coding, we now see various innovative services and offerings in the space. 

Here is the list of six business models in the space besides coding:

Celebrities Turn Mentors

Startups in the space including FrontRow, Mento, CelebritySchool, Unlu, others rope in celebrities to be instructors. For instance, actor Deepika Padukone backed FrontRow has reportedly partnered with many celebrities including Suresh Raina, Yuzvendra Chahal, Neha Kakkar, and comedian Biswa Kalyan Rath, among others, as some of its instructors.

Unlu has also got a few legendary celebrities to take classes in various categories, such as Manoj Bajpayee who teaches acting, Ruskin Bond who teaches writing, Sania Mirza who teaches Tennis, etc. According to Unlu, it has over 1 million users and has been doubling its revenues since unluclasses launched out of Beta in March this year. 

“Teaching is the purest job, everyone has the right to learn from best teachers across the globe and people like to know stories that can inspire them, they want more active learning instead of passive. So we bring those who made it to the top and have an experience and journey to inspire billions,” Vipul Agrawal, co-founder, Unluclass told Entrepreneur India.

Edutainment For Pre-schoolers

ClassMonitor, Kutuki, OckyPocky, Kiddopia, PlayShify are some of the key startups in the space. This sub-sector involves using proprietary stories and a songs-based curriculum. This brings in the combination of voice, vernacular, video and teachers. These are mostly edutainment apps that offer education in the form of fun. Maths, general knowledge, language skills and social-emotional learning are some of the features offered by these startups. 

Offering Industry-Relevant Skills

The mismatch between education and the skills that are valued in the job market is largely felt today. Cashing in on this are some skilling platforms such as SkillLync, AttainU, Udacity and SOAL. “The ever-increasing gap between what industries expect and what students learn during their engineering education has caused a global shortage of high-quality engineering talent. The rapid adoption of new technologies by industries has also created a need for the constant upskilling of engineering professionals. Hence, the need of the hour is to have engineers who have knowledge of both engineering fundamentals and how they can be applied to solve real-world engineering problems through engineering design and simulation tools,” said Suryanarayanan P, co-founder, and chief executive officer, Skill-Lync.

Saas giant Zoho’s ‘Zoho Schools Of Learning’ offers an alternative to a conventional college education. Here students are taught hands-on software engineering,  relevant English communication skills, and helpful mathematical concepts. “If you are raring to achieve your career goals and would rather not let a conventional college education stand in the way, Zoho Schools is where you should be,” it says. 

Teaching The Teachers

Many startups today are empowering the teachers with digital tools such as student activity management platforms and some others are imparting them the technical know-how to make them future-ready. 

For instance, from technology to business support, Classplus claims to provide everything a teacher needs in order to become a good digital educator. Bengaluru-based Teachmint, founded in 2020, enables teachers to create their own virtual classrooms using their smartphones. It helps teachers take lasses, engage with students, assign them tasks, collect fees, all virtually. 

Dance, Music And Other Extracurricular Coaching

While schools and colleges moved online quickly after the pandemic, extra-curricular activities came to a stop for children. This opened up doors for many startups. 

For instance, Kyt was launched in June 2020 by former Uber Eats India head Bhavish Rathod and Tripti Ahuja to offer classes in dance, music, reading, yoga, musical instruments, chess and others. KidEx is another startup launched in the same year to offer a data-driven platform for extracurricular activities and life skills. Bengaluru-based Bambinos offers many co-curricular courses such as creative writing. 

B2B Edtech Startups

The pandemic posed immense challenges to schools, colleges, coaching institutions and other traditional institutions. They had to quickly take their entire work online to ensure business and learning continuity. 

Business-to-business (B2B) startups saw huge potential here and started offering Saas tools to make the shift seamless. These tools, offered by the likes of Classpro, mPowerO Upswing Learning, among others, include exam assessments, real-time tracking of student's performance, instant feedback, assignment management, among others. 

S Shanthi

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Shanthi specialises in writing sector-specific trends,  interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. She is also a mom who looks forward to playing a game of cards with her tween daughter every evening after work.