E-learning: Tiktok’s decision to partner with E-learning companies has opened new avenues for edutech start-ups to significantly expand their user base without spending too much money. Leading short-duration video platform TikTok Thursday announced its partnership with E-learining companies such as Vedantu, Vidya Guru, Hello English, CETKing and Testbook and others to tap the emerging market of explainer education videos. TikTok is reported to have a 200 million strong userbase in the county and it is one of the most popular mobile application for creating and sharing short duration videos.
TikTok has named its foray in the education sector as EduTok. The mobile application company will generate content in multiple languages and formats. These short videos will cover subjects such as Social Sciences, English, Mathematics, Hindi, Biology and Chemistry among others. EduTok willl also cover areas like current affairs, general knowledge, vocabulary and post graduate programmes such as MBA.
TikTok’s foray in production and sharing of short duration education videos is expected to change the dynamics of the E-learning market which has been dominated by homegrown start-ups like Byju’s. It has also come as a big opportunity for smaller edutech startups like Don’t Memorise and Memory Trix that are active in the field of imparting education by using short duration videos and other digital tools.
“I think education technology videos are moving in the direction of short duration videos, from two-and-a-half minutes videos on YouTube to less than a minute. And TikTok has a lot of outreach, I believe they have close to one billion video downloads so far,” said Ganesh Pai, founder of Mumbai based education start-up Don’t Memorise that specialises in producing educational videos for the study of mathematics.
“TikTok has two options, 15 seconds and 60 seconds. These short videos can help students in understanding the cocept first,” Ganesh Pai told Financial Express Online adding that it does not mean that long format education videos will be dead.
Ganesh Pai, a trained engineer who shifted to teaching and then later launched his own start-up and YouTube channel to reach more students, believes that short duration of TikTok videos will not be a barrier.
“It depends on what kind of content you deliver. There are several things that we can teach in 40-50 seconds like Vedic mathematics that originated in India, we can also teach laws of physics, general knowledge and psychology among other things,” he said.
There are more than 20,000 government recognised start-ups in the country and as per some estimates, nearly 3,500 start-ups are working in the E-learning sector. According to an assessment conducted by KPMG, India’s E-learning market is expected to grow to $2 billion with an user base of 10 million users by 2021. As per some estimates, edutech start-ups received $700 million in funding last year.
Edtech space has unicorn start-ups such as Byju’s that have received nearly $1 billion investment so far. And with the recent funding of $150 million, it is valued at around $5.7 billion.
This rapid growth in edutech field led several young minds to launch their own ventures to tap the emerging business opportunities. TikTok’s formal entry into the education sector will not only give space to established players but it has come as an opportunity for fledgeling start-ups as well. Delhi based edutech start-up Memory Trix, that uses a hybrid online and offline model to help students learn and memorise their subjects, hopes to expand its footprint in partnership with TikTok.
Memory Trix helps students from nursery level to class 12 through storytelling, mnemonics, comic videos and other mind mapping tools.
Kripa Narasimhan, who co-founded Memory Trix in 2016 with the help of her brother Arjun Narasimhan, is hoping to take advantage of TikTok’s immense reach to expand the footprint of her venture.
“As of now we offer our services through offline and online mode and we also use WhatsApp to send snippets of our content to parents,” said Kripa Narasimhan who holds twin degrees of engineering and management and worked for more than four years before launching her own start-up.
“Innovative products like TikTok will help us to reach millions of users and it will also help us to improve the quality of our content,” she told Financial Express Online.
The entry of short duration platform like TikTok into edutech field can be a game-changer for young entrepreneurs like Ganesh Pai and Kripa Narasimhan who are also looking to raise money from start-up investors to expand their businesses. Big platforms like TikTok and YouTube create an entire eco-system of developers and content creators to expand and retain their own market share. The entry of large companies in a field can be beneficial of hundreds of small players and start-ups entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of scale and economy these large players and aggregators offer.
“We are in the field of creating short duration comic videos that help students to better understand a concept. So far we have trained 500 students through our offline and online model. But the entry of TikTok will be a game-changer for start-ups like us,” said Kripa Narasimhan.