Lumis Partners funded Talendedge, an edtech company that uses digital technology to facilitate quality learning and teaching, aims at providing a better learning experience than a physical classroom. In the coming years, it plans to grow inorganically and build a larger edtech ecosystem.
A report by Ernst and Young India suggests that by the year 2030, one in every four graduates in the world would be a product of the Indian higher education system. In order to achieve the envisioned state in 2030, transformational and innovative interventions would be required across the higher education system. Fortunately, such transformation is evident in the edtech sector, which uses digital technology to facilitate quality learning and teaching.
Edtech ensures that there is consistency in education across various categories be it the coaching class market, in higher education or even vocational studies. No wonder then that the global edtech industry is stacked up at an impressive US $5 trillion per year and Indian companies like Talentedge are cashing in on it.
Aditya Malik, Talentedge’s founder, started his journey in 2012 by addressing the basic problem statement of replicating face-to-face education in a technological environment without compromising interactivity. It is focused on higher education in an effort to help people advance their careers.
The company offers its courses in association with leading institutes and corporates to help professionals plan their future better. It has partnered with institutes such as IIT, IIM, XLRI, Parsons School of Design, Jack Welch Institute and with corporates such as Wizcraft, Viacom 18 and OLX, to name a few. “We are in the middle of advanced talks with a few Ivy League universities and have plans underway of partnering with companies to launch co-branded courses apart from routine courses,” shares Malik. Currently, users can choose from over 250 courses from 70 organizations worldwide.
The company has struck a chord with over 400,000 individuals and corporate learners who are all paid learners. Students enrolled with Talentedge either pay individually or their companies pay for their courses. “Increasingly students have become aware that they need to get their education instead of waiting for corporate sponsorships. Online education has become more legitimized and is not seen as second class anymore,” explains Malik.
In 2012, Talentedge raised Rs. 100 crores from Lumis Partners. “The funds raised were used for making significant investments in technology to build a machine learning and AI enabled platform which is first of its kind in India. We also used these funds in expanding our team strength and assembling a solid senior leadership team which has helped put Talentedge on a fast track growth path,” explains Malik. Lumis Partners also owns a significant share of the company.
We’re building an ecosystem to replicate classrooms in the virtual world by skilling students, giving them higher education and getting working professionals to grow in their careers by giving them quality education on their desktops.
Currently, Malik and his team are looking for ways to grow inorganically.In 2014, Talentedge invested in a company, which is now a subsidiary of Talentedge called Talentedge Education Ventures.“We are in talks with potential partners for an acquisition so we can build a larger edtech ecosystem and grow together. We should be announcing another investment very soon,” quips Malik.
The Talentedge story
“The market has grown steadily from the days of smart classes when content was shared on tablets to e-learning, Coursera, freemium courses and blended learning programs (face to face or recorded lectures), taking urban India beyond traditional classroom learning,” shares Malik. The single biggest differentiator for Talentedge is the live and interactive classroom which is a replication of a physical classroom and that the entire learning is based on data analysis. The company enables users to log in remotely and join in on their app or visit the cloud campus and see the recorded class and interact with faculty and students. “We’re building an ecosystem to replicate classrooms in the virtual world by skilling students, giving them higher education and getting working professionals to grow in their careers by giving them quality education on their desktops,” explains Malik. Talentedge’s model enables students to give presentations, case studies and group presentations.
An ISO 9001-2008 certified company, Talentedge also offers multiple interactive courses ranging from 50 to 200 hours; i.e. 4 months to a year and a half. With traditional courses such as marketing, finance and HR as well as new age courses like brand management,event management, digital marketing, data analytics, fashion studies and social media marketing, Talentedge is reaching out to all kinds of categories and designsexclusive courses for students in partnership with corporates. An in-house team at Talentedge does the market research and understands what is most relevant for students to study with inputs from corporates.As an example, the company recently introduced classes in corporate events and brand orientation in collaboration with the event management company, Wizcraft.
The power of data
Data goes a long way in helping the faculty understand their students and impart quality education. “We share data with our faculty on things like how many times a student asked questions to whether he or she is a back or front bencher,” explains Malik. Talentedge provides enough data to both faculty and students to ensure interactivity in education.
The growth path
The company has certain standard efficacy measurement methods in place like post class survey, immediate feedback and feedback from working professionals three months after completing the course.Talentedge also aims to understand whether their educational courses are market-relevant, and adds to an individual’s basket of skills in the workplace. “81 percent responded positively across courses to our post-course follow up questions,” explains Malik.
“Online education has become more legitimized and is not seen as second class anymore.”
Bulk of their traffic comes from top 10 cities including Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru and, close to 40 percent traffic comes from Bhopal, Chandigarh and Pathankot etc. As the digital ecosystem penetrates further and data costs are driven down, internet consumption is likely to become mainstream in smaller cities as well as rural India. Throwing light on their geographical reach Malik adds, “Being a digital learning company providing virtual live and interactive courses, we cater to students across the globe and get regular admissions from all parts of the world.”
One of the main challenges for the company is to ensure that their classes go through despite low broadband speed. “Our biggest focus is to give a better learning experience than a physical classroom. We are doubling every year and have plans in place for greater than 50 per cent growth year on year. With increasing internet penetration and digitization we are confident Talentedge will be in the forefront of changing the way India learns,” says Malik on a concluding note.
Snapshot – Talentedge
Founder: Aditya Malik
Concept: An edtech company, which uses digital technology to facilitate quality learning and teaching.
Investors: Lumis Partners
Presence: Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities