The pandemic has brought plenty of momentum for EdTech adoption in India. Taking this into consideration, it is projected that India’s EdTech market will touch $3.5B by 2022, according to a report by RedSeer and Omidyar Network India. In response to the growing demand, EdTech players have scaled up their offerings and new players are coming up with innovative business models catering to unserved segments.
GSV Ventures is a female-led, multi-stage venture capital firm that partners with exceptional entrepreneurs and their companies in the learning and skills technology sector, estimated to be worth $7 trillion. This year, the fund has invested in several EdTech companies in India, including LEAD School, Quizziz, with several other investments in progress. According to Deborah Quazzo, Managing Partner of GSV Ventures, “India is the most exciting market to be in. EdTech as an export is a pretty remarkable phenomenon here.”
GSV Ventures’ vision is to create an era in which all people have equal access to education in the future. Keeping this in mind, they launched The GSV Cup in 2020 for pre-seed and seed companies in the education technology sector that have clear ties to digital learning and skills.
Creating positive change in the EdTech industry
The GSV Cup, powered by Google Cloud, HolonIQ, HubSpot for Startups and GSV Ventures is the world’s largest pitch competition for ‘Pre-k to Grey’ EdTech startups. These innovative companies provide greater access and participation in education through technologies in early childhood, K-12, higher education, adult consumer learning, adult enterprise learning and beyond.
Startups get the opportunity to pitch their ideas to an esteemed panel of 152 judges from global venture capital firms and strategic education companies across the world, including Accel, Alexa Fund, Brand Capital International, Epic Ventures, Founders Circle Capital, Owl Ventures and Reach Capital, among others. The evaluation is done through a confidential review process designed around the “Five P’s” framework – people, product, potential, predictability and purpose.
The 2021 GSV Cup received more than 700 strong applications and 200 semi-finalists, known as the Elite 200, have been chosen. They represent diverse backgrounds and locations with 58 percent being female founders, 44 percent of companies with founders that identify as people of colour (POC) and 39 percent of companies based outside the United States, out of which 8 percent are from India.
Indian EdTechs leading the change
Talking about the participation from India, Deborah Quazzo, Managing Partner of GSV Ventures, says, “As the world moves from a BC to AD reality — before coronavirus to after disease — we have arrived at the dawn of the age of digital learning. EdTech startups in India are addressing the broader base of the population and not just serving the upper economic layer. There are startups focused on working families and frontline workers. We hope to continue to see a lot of this activity as tech becomes effectively democratised in the delivery of skills and education. We’ve seen a lot of innovation across the spectrum, but this phenomenon has the biggest opportunity to impact the most people.”
There are 16 EdTech startups from India who made the Elite 200 list, including:
- Tekie – Founded in 2017, Tekie is an India-based startup that provides an online platform for young students around the world to learn text-based coding. It features unique animated videos and live sessions with instructors to teach the basics of programming. Over the past year, Tekie has enrolled over 7000 students and expects to see a 75-100 percent increase in enrolment from month to month.
- Univ. Ai – Univ. Ai is a professional training institution founded by faculty from Harvard and UCLA. This online alternative to traditional education offers programs in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Some of the programmes offered even come with guaranteed employment placement for top students.
- Podium School – Geared towards children ages 7 to 17 around the world, Podium provides curated online co-curricular courses for young learners. Classes range from subjects such as calligraphy and public speaking to topics in STEM, and follow an international curriculum. Upon completion, students receive a certificate that is accepted at Ivy League schools.
- One Point Six Technologies Pvt Ltd – The company’s free publishing platform — Pencil — allows people to publish and read books in paperback and e-book formats. Additionally, the platform allows for global distribution and integrates analytics and tools to write, design and set prices.
Other Indian startups in the Elite 200 include Ankai, Codeyoung, DcodeAI Private Limited, Expertrons Technologies Private Limited, Fliplearn Education Private Limited, Fusion Klassroom Edutech Private Limited, ILLUMNUS, Knorish, Lattu Kids, Learning Matters, MateRate Education Private Limited and Shunya Impact Pvt Ltd.
The 200 semi-finalists will be invited to participate at the ASU+GSV Summit, as one of the “Elite 200” virtual and in-person presenters, and have the chance to win $1 million in prizes consisting of $550,000 in non-dilutive capital and $450,000 in Google Cloud credits.
Building conversation around equal access to education
Since 2010, the ASU+GSV Summit is an annual event hosted by Arizona State University and GSV Ventures connecting leading minds focused on transforming society and business around learning and work. Last year, the summit welcomed over 15,000 attendees from more than 135 countries, including leading educators, innovators, investors, strategists, foundation leaders, media, and policymakers across the ‘Pre-K to Grey’ global education and skills sectors. Previous years saw the attendance of eminent personalities such as President George W. Bush, Bill Gates, Condoleezza Rice, Justice Sandra Day O’ Connor, Richard Branson, John Legend, Gloria Steinem and Howard Schultz, among others.
This year, the ASU+GSV Summit will be held on August 9-11, 2021 in San Diego as well as virtually. Don’t miss this opportunity to listen to actionable insights from global voices in the EdTech industry and grow your network.