Bangalore based online education startup Simplilearn.com which recently raised an undisclosed amount from IndoUS Venture Partners plans to increase the number of courses to 100 by the end of the year and is also doubling its workforce.
The three year old startup, has so far offered online training to nearly 35,000 aspirants and conducts over 300 classroom training every month. The company founded by Mr Krishna Kumar claims to be profitable already and had raised funds to fuel its expansion.
E-learning in India
E-learning is a fast growing space in India and is seeing a lot of startup activity. Estimates by management consultancy Technopak pegs the current e-learning market in India at $ 150 mn, growing at 15% cagr. Besides Simplilearn, three other startups including Mumbai based Technium Labs which runs LurnQ, Liqvid which focuses on English language training and Arus Networks announced fund raising last month.
The digitized school products segment with companies like Educomp, Everonn and NIIT dominating the scene is also growing. The market for digitized learning products in private schools is likely to grow 20 % cagr to reach $ 2 bn by 2020 and the government school market is set to grow five times by 2020. Startups like Dezyre.com and Gyaanexchange.com operate in the space. Many device makers like Datawind have also started selling bundled education content.
Elearning: Government push
In India, where providing classroom experience for a large number of children is getting increasingly tougher, the government has been pushing technology adoption to ease the pressure on the education system. The central government had announced in 2009, plans to supply schools with hundreds of thousands of low cost tablets. States like Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh are also giving away laptops to school going children. The UP government led by Akhilesh Yadav is buying about 25 lakh tablets and 23 lakh laptops for 10th and 12th standards students.
A major policy measure called the right to education act passed in 2009 entitles all children to elementary education at the state’s expense. An estimated eight million 6-14 year old Indian children had no access to education in 2009. The inflow of millions of new students into the education system has been putting pressure on already crowded classrooms, forcing them to look for alternative methods like e-learning. Schools are also flaunting their digital credentials as differentiators. Large business groups like the Reliance are also opening new schools to address the demand.
Recommended read : Understanding the e-learning market in India