This edtech startup combines tech, academics for UPSC preparation

This edtech startup combines tech, academics for UPSC preparation

Founded in April 2020, Edukemy saw over 50 of its students clear the UPSC Mains with seven in top 100 ranks; number of students rose nearly four times in the last 10 months. 

Edukemy was founded in April 2020 Edukemy was founded in April 2020

There are exams and then there is the UPSC Civil Services Exam. The gateway to the elite civil services is still a coveted career option and though it may not be the first choice for many in the metros, it is actively on the radar of the youth of the country. 

Coaching is an important part of preparing for the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC) tests and while there are many traditional options available, the recent past has seen the emergence of online and digital players in the arena. 

“The emergence of online coaching platforms enabled the decentralisation of the UPSC Civil Services Exam preparation industry, which was earlier located majorly in New Delhi, and in small pockets throughout the country,” says Chandrahas Panigrahi, Co-founder & CEO, Edukemy, an edtech venture offering online coaching for a number of competitive exams, including those by UPSC. 

Panigrahi founded Edukemy in April 2020 along with two of his college friends – Deb Tripathi and Shabbir Ahmed. While Tripathi is currently the co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Ahmed is a co-founder and Chief Academic Officer. 

Interestingly, the three co-founders bring to the table different skill sets. Panigrahi has a track record of establishing new businesses, Tripathi has more than two decades of experience in technology and automation among other things. Ahmed is a well-known faculty in the UPSC preparation arena. 

Panigrahi takes care of business development and management while Tripathi manages the technology vertical that handles the edtech venture’s platform development. Ahmed, meanwhile, has huge experience in mentoring UPSC aspirants and spearheads product development and overall quality control.  

The start-up employs more than 100 people and has already got Pre-Series A funding round of $2 million from a clutch of investors including Auxano, Falcon5, and other angel investors. 

The business model of the Bengaluru-based venture is simple. It identified a genuine problem in the UPSC preparation segment and decided to solve it. 

According to Panigrahi, UPSC aspirants, especially from the hinterlands have to relocate to another city to get quality coaching. By using the power of technology and merging it with academics, the venture came up with modules that can be customised based on each student’s strengths and weaknesses. 

The start-up aims to become the go-to test preparatory platform in the online education category – it has enhanced its bouquet of offerings to include many more competitive exams – by offering personalised and easily accessible study modules. 

The modules are a mix of specially curated materials, summaries of classes along with audio/video content and references for further studies. Simplified video content is also available on its YouTube channel – it has nearly 88,000 followers - with current affairs updates posted daily. 

“The modules are a mix of specially curated materials, class summaries, audio/video content, and references for further study”, says Panigrahi. 

“The modules are scheduled based on the student's journey and exam stage. Our expert faculty understands the needs of students based on their preparation level, whether it is beginner, repeater, or a person preparing while working or studying, and then designs modules to meet the student's expectations,” he explains. 

And if the growth in business is anything to go by then it is indeed achieving its own set of good results. In the last 10 months, the venture has registered a growth of 4.1 times in the number of courses along with a jump of 3.8 times in the number of registered users. The number of Edukemy students has also risen 3.6 times. 

The venture’s typical target audience is the youth between 18 and 32 years of age who are looking to choose a career path or may be even planning to switch after gaining some work experience. 

Apart from UPSC exams, Edukemy also has modules for state civil services tests along with those for banking, railways & insurance and Staff Selection Commission (SSC). Currently, it has over 80 different study modules for these exams. 

Interestingly, the 2020 UPSC exams saw 51 Edukemy students clearing the final mains tests with seven in the top 100 ranks. 

“We feel happy that we were able to help many aspirants realize their dream in the very first year of our operations. The lockdown was the biggest challenge and we are glad that we were able to innovate and solve the problem of helping students with answer writing,” says Panigrahi. 

Going ahead, the venture aims to grow its revenues five times and the subscriber base four times every year. It also plans to expand its offerings to include vernacular exams. 

“Going ahead, we aim to grow our revenues five times and the subscriber base four times every year. We have also planned to expand our offerings and portfolio by entering into various other government exams and include vernacular language,” says Panigrahi.

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