How We Started An Online Tuition Platform & Raised $3M At Launch
Thank you so much for inviting us to share our story. We are Mr. Anil Ahuja & CA Vinod Gupta, and we are the founders of 88Guru, an EdTech startup that was launched in India in October 2022. We are both entrepreneurs and investors with an average of 30+ years of experience in investing across businesses. 88Guru is our brainchild which hopes to meet the educational needs of students in India to set them on the path to success.
Talking about 88Guru is an online tuition platform that aims to provide quality and affordable online tuition to students from classes 5th to 8th at packages starting at just Rs88/- per month with no mandatory annual package system.
Our world-class system of education includes teachers from various renowned schools of India like DPS, G.D. Goenka, Shiv Nadar, and many more with more than 15 years of teaching experience. 88Guru provides 5000+ practice papers across various subjects and topics with different difficulty levels.
88Guru is ranking high among students, and with strong funding and solid investors, we have had 137K downloads within months of the launch, which shows great promise.
What is your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
This is a very interesting story. So, this one time, we were discussing how good schooling can define the future development of children. We realized through our discussions that if the child’s education is right from the beginning, they can achieve a lot in the future and attain success.
This made us realize that some work needs to be done in the field of school education to strengthen the basics of children. We spoke to some eminent professors and institutions to understand the various building blocks of an excellent education to create a system wherein every child can avail of the benefits.
We raised funding of about $3 million (Rs22 crores) for our business which will give us the much-needed push to move towards new directions of growth and develop content for the K-12 sector.
We used all our edutech experience from our parent business “VG learning Destination” and “88tuition” and thus child 88Guru was born with the motto ‘best Padhai best price.’
Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.
88Guru has existed in Singapore as 88tuition even before it was established in India by the name of 88Guru. We found a good customer base there and received great testimonials from students. This made us realize the massive need for such an education platform in India to cater to the needs of Indian students.
Thus, we started with the development of the 88Guru platform keeping in mind the education system and examination pattern in India. Our model of education is based on the Learn-Practice-Review methodology of teaching adapted from Singapore.
Initially, we faced a lot more difficulties in reconciling our brand identity that too without comprising any functionality.
We used Adobe Xd and Figma for prototyping 88Guru App and website. We tried to keep student journeys as short as possible so that they can reach our dashboard with the minimum steps possible. It took multiple edits but after a few weeks our design was ready for launch.
Initially, our app was launched with Recorded lectures, practice papers, report cards, etc. But we wanted to offer more value to our customers so we decided to give Live doubt classes and Hinglish language Option which our customers liked.
We have designed our application so that students can learn at their own pace. Students can rewind, replay, and review topics until they are comfortable with them. Students can take assessments to test their understanding of the subject matter and practice more challenging questions. And the best part is that they can do this from the comfort of their home.
“Our growth rate within months of launch has been great with more than 137K downloads of our application already”.
Describe the process of launching the business.
Development of 88Guru had been in the process since early 2022, we started working on developing educational content with renowned teachers from different schools in India. After this, we worked on our application to make it accessible to all the students in India on mobile phones, laptops, and tablets.
In the process, we developed our website, brainstormed marketing, and advertising strategies, and towards the end of 2022, we launched our startup to make education accessible to every student in India at affordable prices.
We have seen a huge influx of students downloading our application within months of the launch. More than 100K students have started using our application, highlighting the great necessity of such a platform in India.
We have raised funding of about $3 million (Rs22 crores) for our business which will give us the much-needed push to move toward new growth directions and develop content for the K-12 sector. So, the future looks good for the EdTech industry.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
Our main objective has been quality education at affordable prices for all since the beginning. While it would be wrong to say that there is no competition at all, what works best is how we present our product and let it speak for itself. For us, affordability, a world-class education with experienced teachers from eminent schools, and self-paced learning courses have helped attract and retain customers.
Our growth rate within months of launch has been great, with more than 137K downloads of our application. We have shared our application on all social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. Consistency is the key to marketing, which is our strategy.
Our packages are extremely cost-effective, starting at just Rs88/- per month for different subjects with no annual charges. This has led to a huge influx of customers looking for good education for their children.
To conclude, different strategies work differently for businesses. Hence it is important to understand that and market your product accordingly.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
We have been doing good, but we still have a long way to go regarding expanding our services. Our startup has been doing well in the Indian environment as we have seen a huge influx of customers in the first few months of our launch. It has given us the confidence and motivation to move forward and expand into the development of educational content for more age groups.
Currently, our tuition classes are available in Hindi and English, and in the future, we hope to expand to different languages and education for more classes. We have raised funding of about $3 million (Rs22 crores) for our business which will give us the much-needed push to move towards new growth directions and develop content for K-12. We also aim to expand to tier-2 and tier-3 cities where the need for high-quality, affordable education is very high.
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
Yes, we have had many wonderful learning experiences on our journey. Our education packages are extremely affordable, starting at just Rs88/- per month with no annual commitment and the 7 days free trial package. This has instilled in our belief that quality education at affordable prices is the need of the hour. More such initiatives are needed to make education accessible to every child in India.
There are students from different socioeconomic backgrounds in India. With 88Guru, students from lower middle classes, government schools, and those with a lack of resources can afford quality education with a click of a button. Currently, our content is only available in Hindi and English, but in the future, we plan on extending this to other regional languages to benefit students all over India.
Students prefer to interact with teachers to feel a personal connection. To bridge this gap, we offered Daily Live doubt classes where students can come & talk to our experienced teachers to get their queries resolved.
What platforms/tools do you use for your business?
88Guru application & website is very easy to use, and one can access it on mobile, tablet, or laptop. Our Application is available on both Android and IOS platforms.
It is very easy to navigate through the application, and it is very user-friendly for parents, teachers, and students. We have our custom Learning management system at the student(.)88guru(.)com built for students for accelerated learning.
We are using Quesscorp CRM which is a big help in resolving our day-to-day operations for email, phone calls, customer support, Push Notifications, and lead management.
We also use semrush/ahrefs/buzzsumo to create content for our marketing needs.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
My advice would be to follow your dreams and have confidence in yourself and your beliefs. If you have an idea, work on it, get an expert opinion, and develop that idea into a business model that would benefit society. That is what we did, and it has brought us this far.
Lastly, I would like to say do not be afraid of failure or lack of experience, believe in yourself, and if you think you can make a difference, then do not stop pursuing it.
Where can we go to learn more?
If you would like to learn more about us and explore, check out our website and social media platforms:
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