Why math tutoring startup Countingwell wants to be edtech’s Nykaa
The founders of Countingwell Nirmal Shah and Ravi Jitani spent more than two decades in the IT services and venture capital industries respectively.
Around 2017 the two started talking math education. Given the obsession of Indian parents with the subject, it is widely feared by young students.
“What bothers parents more is the fact that they can’t participate in their child’s math learning after a certain level. That’s when they start looking for tutors, ”says Nirmal. Your story.
However, math coaching continues to be a problem for the 265 million educated people in India. Nirmal and Ravi started Count well to resolve this.
Founded in October 2018, the Bengaluru-based startup wants solve math anxiety among middle school (grades 6-8) students. Mobile math solution offers extracurricular learning modules aligned with CBSE and NCERT program.
Nirmal Shah and Ravi Jitani (left), co-founders, Countingwell
What Countingwell Solves
The co-founder Nirmal develops,
“Countingwell was born out of two years of research and development; we extracted research papers from universities in Australia and the United States, and conducted pilots with several schools in India to assess problem areas. We have found that most children are good at digital skills, but they weaken in complex higher-level problems that require analytical thinking, strategy and other comprehension skills.
“Most schools were aware of this problem, but they didn’t know how to fix it,” he says.
So, Countingwell began to build a learning construct around these areas. The founders tested various concepts with academics, advisers from NCERT and CBSE, “the children of neighbors and our own children” before finalizing the pedagogy.
After more than two years of R&D, the product launched in December 2020, well into the pandemic when e-learning had already exploded in India.
Nirmal says, “We are focused on instilling an analytical thought process in children. We didn’t want to be a copy of the manual. We have therefore broken down the pedagogy into customizable micro modules and also suitable for mobile form factor. We wanted solve math fatigue that the students experience.
Countingwell has designed 20-minute daily “math workouts” to minimize screen time.
AI-Driven Learning Modules
Countingwell designed 20-minute daily “math workouts” to minimize screen time and deliver maximum learning results. the micro-learning modules keep students focused and their interest levels high, as well prevent declines in engagement rates – a problem that many K-12 learning applications face today.
“Many horizontal players offer everything in one package. But not all kids want to focus on so much content, but they are forced to take it. Vertical learning apps like us solve this problem with niche and targeted products.”
Countingwell uses the continuous formative assessments to determine specific learning gaps in each student, then use their AI engine to build a step-by-step learning path for them. Students can choose the subject they want to learn and receive personalized practice tests and text and video lessons.
Premium users also have access to live doubts resolution sessions with expert tutors once a week. Non-paying users can upload their doubts and resolve them by SMS.
“The math exercises are generated automatically based on the skill level of the child. We also assess whether they haven’t learned something that should have been taught in previous years. In this case, we upgrade them, ”explains the founder.
To boost the interactivity of the application, Countingwell has created a “Pen and paper experience” to solve geometry problems.
How the “numbers” stack up
Since its launch, Countingwell has created 1,800 minutes math exercises. He recorded a peak of 1.5 million minutes of learning hours in April. Globally, 49,500 hours learning content has been consumed since the application went online.
At present he has more 41,000 registered users, 35% of whom are active even after eight weeks and have achieved “at least one learning goal” on the app.
“Over the past 90 days, we have recorded an average engagement of 50 minutes per day per student among paying users. For unpaid users, we set the lessons to 20 minutes. Overall, we saw a 47 percent improvement in student scores between a baseline assessment and a post-learning assessment.
Countingwell operates on three levels subscription model – monthly (Rs 399), annual (Rs 3,999) and annual pro plans (Rs 5,999). The latter comes with access to expert tutors once a week. In addition to this, the startup also owns math contest for schools and offers cash prizes and scholarships to students.
Countingwell wants to reach half a million users by the end of fiscal 22
This has been the biggest growth driver and user acquisition channel, especially from Level II and III cities, who compones 54 percent of Countingwell’s total user base. “We have seen the participation of places like Varanasi, Lucknow, Madurai, Jammu, and Guwahati», Reveals the founder.
“These are the areas ignored because a the majority of edtech is still concentrated in metropolitan cities and in the test preparation or higher education segments. Small towns are still lost for schoolchildren, ”he adds.
Countingwell achieved a monthly execution rate (MRR) of Rs 2.5 lakh. By the end of FY22 he wants to strike half a million users and an MRR of Rs 15 lakh. In addition to B2C, the startup is now venture into the B2B segment, with a business-type offer for schools.
Nirmal specifies: “The basic version of the product will allow schools to assign and manage math homework. Modules will include adaptive and formative assessments, which many schools are unable to provide due to lack of resources. They can subscribe to a annual license and pass the cost on to the child.
Funding and future roadmap
In December 2020, Countingwell raised a $ 1 million pre-Series A round from Delhi Private School, United Arab Emirates, and Interstar, an education management company.
At the time of financing, Pravin Batavia, Principal, Delhi Private School, United Arab Emirates, said: “Countingwell picked the right audience among the college kids, which is not just a very underserved segment when it comes to learning, but also spans the most important years to lay the foundation for a future career. We are confident that their unique learning approach will go a long way in helping children learn math as well as their analytical and problem-solving skills, thereby enhancing their overall development.
To fuel its future growth, Countingwell is looking to raise a follow-up round of $ 1.5 million to $ 2 million by the end of the year. He will use the capital to develop new products and expand to international markets.
Countingwell has partnered with schools to launch its B2B product in the coming weeks
Last month, the startup launched into the United Arab Emirates and enlisted around 20 schools for its B2B product. He also plans to launch content for grade 9-10 students and explore applied learning areas such as data science, coding and financial literacy.
Countingwell rivals the likes of Cuemath, SchoolYourself, beGalileo, Microsoft Math Solver, Kumon, MalMath, Brainly, etc. in the segment dedicated to learning mathematics. Horizontal learning applications like BYJU’S, Vedantu, Toppr, Doubtnut, Extramarks, Khan Academy, etc. also offer extensive math programs. As a result, learning math has become one of the hottest subsections in the K-12 edtech space.
Interestingly, industry watchers believe that the the next wave of edtech growth could be driven by vertical learning applications as horizontal players stabilize.
An edtech investor said Your story recently,
“BYJU’S is doing for edtech what Flipkart did for e-commerce back then. Corn, the Nykaas [vertical commerce] edtech are still to be played. As in retail, everything that can be bought goes online … in education too, everything that can be taught will be put online.
Nirmal intervenes: “The vertical niche players will be able to develop because we can offer value and show how our the pedagogy was built from scratch [not top-down]. ”
So, can Countingwell become the Nykaa of edtech?
“Well, we want to be,” he concludes.