Two weeks ago, edtech company Teachmint came within touching distance of a milestone—it could well become India’s fifth edtech unicorn. The company is barely a year old, launched in April 2020 just as the pandemic forced schools, colleges, and other physical education centres to shutter temporarily. And now, it’s in talks to raise a $70 million $70 million Entrackr Teachmint in talks to raise fresh funds at over $500 Mn valuation Read more  Series C round at a valuation of $500 million, reports Entrackr. Not even the Indian edtech posterboy, WhiteHatJr, saw this kind of a jump in value after its first year.

Teachmint, of course, isn’t exactly like the other edtechs in the unicorn club. In fact, it would be the first business-to-business (B2B) edtech platform to be crammed into a space teeming with business-to-customer (B2C) startups, all directed towards students. 

Focussed on teachers, Teachmint is an edtech “infrastructure” layer that contains everything a teacher needs to teach online. Its goal, says its co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Mihir Gupta, is to help teachers create online classrooms within a few clicks. 

Teachmint’s product might be the newest, but by no means is it the only one in the market. A number of B2B edtech startups like Classplus, Winuall, Wise, and Uolo have also sprung up in the last five to six years. This niche segment had to labour under the shadows cast by B2C edtech giants like Byju’s and Unacademy. The pandemic, though, drastically altered the position occupied by B2B startups in the edtech space, and changed the scale of their operations.

For the first two months after the lockdown was imposed, no one in the team got any sleep, jokes Mukul Rustagi, co-founder of three-year-old Classplus. “The daily number of students on our platform shot up from 40,000 a month to 1.3 million. Content consumption, like watching videos, increased by 28X,” says Rustagi. Classplus claims to have 100,000 teachers on board in 2021, catering to over 10 million students through their virtual classrooms.

"There’s a lot of scope with tech products. Like remedial classes after school, or sharing online content that’s better than the offline content we have access to"

Saif Khan, Bareilly-based senior school teacher

Without tools like the ones Classplus and Teachmint offer, many of India’s schools and other educational institutions may have had to completely shut down. The acute need for these platforms is reflected in the kind of quick fundraises they’ve been able to pull in. Teachmint has already raised a total of $40 million from investors such as Learn Capital and Lightspeed Ventures, while Classplus has bagged $90 million from marquee investors like Tiger Global and GSV.

AUTHOR

Olina Banerji

Based in Delhi, Olina writes about mega-trends in urban mobility, education, skilling and the environment, with a focus on how institutions and innovations can help cities grow sustainably. She is a graduate of the London School of Economics, and has worked previously with India Today and global non-profit Ashoka.

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