De-stress your learning!

De-stress your learning!

Education

Aditi Avasthi set up Embibe to maximise a student’s potential through data driven insights. Recently funded by Kalaari Capital and Lightbox, the company aims to be the go-to destination for students to prepare for all competitive exams

ADITI AVASTHI, FOUNDER, EMBIBE

“Every entrepreneur identifies a business idea based on his/her personal experiences,” says Aditi Avasthi, CEO and founder of Embibe, as she starts talking about her journey. For her, it was her passion towards bringing openness in learning and the desire to move it away from the stress it is usually associated with.

According to her, there are two paradigms to education. One, everyone should develop the ability to learn whatever they want to, whenever and second, they should be able to get over the massively competitive, stressful and complex education system.  “Can we remove this stress, free mind space and create customised individualised training which helps in the participation of the learning process as opposed to spacing out after a point of time because of the pressure?” asks Avasthi, explaining her reasons for setting up Embibe.

Founded in 2012, Embibe is a consumer tech data analytics company with a focus on guiding aspirants of massively competitive complex exams (MCCE) to fulfill their dreams. The company combines technology and data sciences to help students prepare better for such exams like JEE Main, JEE Advanced, BITSAT and CET/AIPMT. It optimises its analytics engine and helps students make learning a priority rather than expending energy over exam stress. It is also a unique platform, which invites all stakeholders – students, parents and mentors to collaborate and work towards improving exam scores.

A part of the Indiavidual Learning Pvt. Ltd., Embibe is working to maximise every student’s true potential through the power of data driven insights. It recently raised US $4 million from Kalaari Capital and venture fund, Lightbox Ventures, to enhance the student-teacher network and build the analytics engine further. The company is building a data team out of Bengaluru and is looking at scaling up its technology backbone.

A journey to remember

Avasthi describes her journey as a foolhardy one. Before she set up Embibe, she worked with Barclays during the day and Embibe at night. She did a study with the help of a few people in India, in around 15 cities, to identify the problems they were facing in education and creating a prototype based on the feedback. “When my prototype got positive feedback, that of 90 per cent registration interest and 70 per cent supplemental use, I packed my bag and moved back to India,” states she.

Eventually, she started talking to investors and met Sandeep Murthy, an angel investor, quite by accident. Subsequently, she received US $700,000 as funding and that’s how Embibe was formed formally. Its current user base is 200,000 plus students and as of March this year, it had 700,000 unique visitors to its website.

When Avasthi started scaling the business further she realised that B2B2C conversion rate was good and hence, started working with many institutes.  In 2015, the company acquired 100marks.com, a platform which students preparing for IIT-JEE use for extensive doubt resolution.

Identifying the weakness?

Embibe’s analytics engine has been designed to capture the student weaknesses centered on critical performance metrics like speed, accuracy, time management, attempt planning and stamina. It also addresses psychological factors like confidence, as there is a behavior modification that analytics does and backend content investment. “We looked at the pain point, which is information, to make a dent in this space,” recalls Avasthi.   Every student in this landscape needs personal guidance, which is not available.

Over a period of time, through its analytics, the company has seen a couple of things it can do to help students improve their scores. “We have some interesting pattern trending designs which allow us to move up the score by 20 per cent. This helps in removing behavioural tendencies like panicking in the exam and making careless mistakes. You can then actually focus on helping the student identify what he wants and what he likes to do,” shares Avasthi. While common feeling is that practice makes perfect, Avasthi has understood that it is also one’s behaviour and personality that makes perfect. “At the end of the day, kids taking the IIT advanced exam face a battle of psychology. So we wanted to see if we could kill the paranoia,” adds she.

Growth drivers

One of the biggest factors driving the company’s growth is the trend for seeking individualisation. It manifests itself into different forms like the time spent on how students conduct themselves, their individuality and so on. The stress is increasing with time. But in a classroom you are still battling work. “We are unifying the attitude outside the classroom as against what it is inside the classroom,” states Avasthi.


“As markets are getting more competitive, the need to be able to achieve even a single mark higher is the burning outcome that is driving growth for us,” adds she.


The company has invested in a full time content team (of about 20 people), which includes academicians and senior faculty, given the need to fully calibrate what the student is gaining. Its total team size is around 50. From the time it was incorporated, its user base has grown by five times and from November till March 2015, the total number of sessions have grown by 10x.

Avasthi says that there are repeat users as well. “Almost 45 per cent of its users are active even after 18 months, though, typically students tend to drop off as they lose interest in technology products,” states Avasthi. The company’s content is calibrated to the practical level of a paper. “People tend to put a lot of easy content on the net so that students feel there is success.  And we are fanatically student focused,” states she.

Taking it to the market

The company wants the students to be able to look and experience the product and convert themselves into a user on their own. Apart from such organic traffic, it does a lot of digital marketing as well. “We have a product that sells. We don’t have to do any handholding.  The idea is to make a product in such a way that the student wants to consume it and stay engaged with it,” states Avasthi. As far as the success rate is concerned, the company looks at the time spent per user per week, which indicates the utility of the platform. This apart, it also looks at the learning outcomes that it is able to create.

The company wants to do much more for the students, like personality building, enhancing communication skills and so on. “We want to be the go-to destination for all competitive complex education markets like India where retention is not available and students feel like they have not done their best because of that reason. This is not just for tests, but for any class they might be in, where they want maximise their learning,” concludes Avasthi.


Snapshot 

Indiavidual Learning – Embibe

Founder: Aditi Avasthi

Year: 2012

Concept: A consumer-tech data analytics company focussed on guiding aspirants of massively competitive complex exams (MCCE) better prepare for exams like JEE Main, JEE Advanced, BITSAT and CET/AIPMT

Funding: US $4 million from Kalaari Capital and Lightbox

Employees: 52

Poornima Kavlekar has been associated with The Smart CEO since the time of launch and is the Consulting Editor of the magazine. She has been writing for almost 20 years on a cross section of topics including stocks and personal finance and now, on entrepreneurship and growth enterprises. She is a trained Yoga Teacher, an avid endurance Cyclist and a Veena player.

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