28 Sept 2020
goodED- revolutionising vernacular-based learning

    GoodEd’s co-founder Ghanshyam Tiwari was appalled after witnessing the chinks in the state-board education system when in 2015 Bihar made headlines as images and footages of students resorting to duplicacy and unfair means came to the forefront. He discussed this issue with his friends who held strong principles on educational values and purpose, which gave birth to an idea that might potentially revolutionise the way non-English medium students learn.

    The initial days

    By the end of 2015, Ghanshyam Tiwari and his group of friends- Kapil Gupta, Jay Prakash and Anis Bari co-founded GoodEd Technologies, built upon the idea of providing a network of good teachers who can teach students online in vernacular languages.

    They started in January 2016 after building an outstanding network of teachers through references from friends and students in IITs. By April 2016, GoodEd had a strong network of more than 100 teachers who could teach for competitive exams such as JEE and medical entrances. They also exercised an instant pivot in operations when the Supreme Court ruled that entrances to medical and dental courses will be held via a single nationwide exam- NEET by introducing an online portal called NEETprep.com to set benchmarks in a non-competitive market environment by aiding aspirants prep for the exam with online courses and materials.

    For the next three months, the company was providing courses on competitive exam prep to more than 1,000 students across the country.

    NEETprep is now a leading platform in the K-12 test prep market, with nearly 500,000 subscribers learning for free on YouTube, 25,000 paid subscribers enrolled in online programs and 60,000 daily active users with more than 1.2 million questions asked every day on the platform.

    The numbers

    The founders have not raked in any personal capital into the company. They were able to secure an investment of INR 2.4 crore from investors led by Tracxn capital and other seasoned angel investors, the likes of which included Kunal Shah, Aditya Berlia, Anand Chandrasekaran and Mekin Maheshwari among others. It raised INR 3.3 crore in angel investor-led rounds in 2016 and 2017.

    It runs two different products- NEETprep.com and Learner.in.

    NEETprep.com is a B2C offering which provides online courses, materials and mentorship and leads the online K-12 test prep sector. The offerings involve from a short-term online course to a two-year exhaustive online coaching ranging from INR 7,000 to INR 35,000. It also included other products such as test series and masterclasses ranging from INR 500 to 3000.

    Learner.in is another platform provided by GoodEd which features live lectures for 150 schools across the country with over 15,000 students from Class 9 to Class 12.

    The pressure points

    GoodEd’s challenges mainly lie in building a B2C business which was affordable for the mass with competitors who were cash-rich and heavily-invested.

    GoodEd faced a tough situation back in September 2017 when the revenues were low, there was no investment opportunity incoming and the business was yet to turn cash positive. By April 2018 however, it gained steam as many students signed up over the next six months and it became unit economics positive. It was now able to increase the average revenue per user as well as the number of paid and free students for NEETprep. It became the backbone of the business model GoodEd continues to pursue till date.

    It remained profitable, with a CAGR of over 200 per cent in the last three years.

    Conclusion- Planning ahead

    Over the next one-and-a-half years, NEETprep.com aspires to enrol 100,000 students into its various course offerings. The goal at Learner.in is to provide a platform as an online extension school to more than 10,000 schools across the country and serving more than 500,000 students. It also plans to raise a Series A funding round worth $3 million-4 million against this financial year's revenue which is expected to be up by 200 per cent from FY19-20.

    The startup’s revenues in FY19-20 were INR 10 crore, and they expect to earn anywhere between INR 18-25 crore this financial year.