Updated: Oct 5, 2022
Digital learning by compulsion or choice?
With covid induced lockdowns, schools, colleges and tuition centers shut indefinitely, Edtech companies jumped at the opportunity of providing digital means to learning. Investors followed suit, and pumped billions into the sector. Resultantly, for 2 years, Edtech valuation swelled in India. Byju’s emerged as the Edtech behemoth, while several turned unicorn. But were they too naïve to think that digital learning will outlast the pandemic?
Here's some insight into the recent turmoil in the industry:
Physics Wallah, the new Edtech unicorn, and Unacademy have both forayed into hybrid model by opening offline tuition centers in Rajasthan’s Kota (hub of JEE and NEET test preparation). Byju’s already has offline centers (also in Kota) through its acquisition of Aakash Institute in 2021.
Speaking of which, Byju’s requested for an extension for payment to former investors of Aakash Institute, indicating paucity of funds.
Both Unacademy and Vedantu have confessed that funding lines are drying up, as they restructure their operations to cut cost.
While Unicorns are laying off, 3 early stage edtech stratups – Crejo, Udayy and SuperLearn have stopped operations altogether in June’22, sighting funding crunch and return to offline schooling as the reasons for their closing.
Lido Learning, the edtech firm that provided K-12 online classes, started bankruptcy proceedings last month as it failed to pay to its teachers and employees.
So we ask:
Can social animals stay hooked to screens without any mode of interacting with their fellow learners or teachers? Or was it only out of compulsion?
Did Edtech really disrupt? If yes, is it time for it to get disrupted by offline education?
Share your thoughts here.
This article is a part of the September'22 edition of our Startup Newsletter. Here's the complete publication: