Bengaluru-based startup BitClass, which offers a platform for independent teachers to conduct online classes, has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Venture Highway. This seed funding round is led by Venture Highway with participation from AET Japan, Figure Eight Investments, and Waterbridge Ventures.
Set up in April 2020, BitClass has 2,200 active teachers on the platform right now. In an interaction with Moneycontrol, Gunjan Kejriwal, co-founder of BitClass, said that the idea is to help teachers become entrepreneurs which he calls ‘teacherpreneurs’.
“This funding round will help grow the business and also make the technology more intuitive. The vision is to also increase the earnings of the teachers on our platform,” he added.
For paid classes, BitClass earns a commission out of the fee paid to the teachers. Here, it is not just regular academic lessons and competitive exam preparatory lectures offered by teachers but also offbeat lessons like DIY mask, jewellery design, chocolate making and yoga.
Kejriwal added that BitClass will be looking to raise another round of funding in the next 6-10 months. He added that the platform wants to have 1 million teachers earning Rs 50,000 plus in the near future. Right now, the average earning per teacher is Rs 15,000.
Clarifying that BitClass is not just a video-conferencing solution, Kejriwal added that the platform helps teachers establish an online presence and manage their existing workflows better, reach and acquire new potential learners efficiently, without much marketing and technology know-how. He added that the use of video conferencing tools is inbuilt into the product.
Priya Mohan, Startup Sensei at Venture Highway, said that their investment in Bitclass stemmed from our belief both in the founding team and the problem they are solving.
“COVID-19 has induced significant tailwinds for online/live services. However, in our view, models should be calibrated for post-COVID-19 scenarios with a longer-term view accounting for potential behaviour changes. We found Gunjan’s and Utsav’s insights into building a solution for ‘teacherpreneurs’ offering live instructional content unique,” she added.
Venture Highway is backed by investors from Silicon Valley and is a dedicated seed fund, which partners with the Indian technology entrepreneurs by providing guidance and early rounds of institutional capital.
Industry estimates suggest that the edtech sector has been the biggest gainer of the COVID-19 lockdown across educational institutions in India. Companies operating in this space have seen upwards of 60 percent growth in revenue ever since April 2020.