The husband-wife duo realized the significance of incorporating advanced technology into the classroom in order to make learning more enjoyable and thus created Doubtnut.
ALL ABOUT DOUBTNUT-
Established by husband-wife duo, Aditya Shankar and Tanushree Nagori, Doubtnut involves AI Technologies for image recognition, language processing, as well as proprietary machine learning algorithms in order to provide solutions to student’s queries. This interactive online tutoring app is the duo’s second entrepreneurial venture in the field of education. The IIT-Delhi alumni worked in strategy and consulting field across India and the US for a couple of years before creating Class 21A Pvt. Ltd., which is also the parent company of Doubtnut.
HOW DID IT ALL START
But it didn’t took much time to figure out that their classes needed more advancement in technology. Inside a four-walled classroom, the duo couldn’t look after each and everyone queries one to one due to inappropriate student-teacher ratio, and apart from this, most students would shy away from asking question in the fear of being mocked. They came up with a quick solution to it, as student were familiar about the topics before hand, the duo motivated and encouraged students to upload their queries before the students select to schedule their 21A session.
According to the doubts, they would create explanatory videos and send them to students through WatsApp. Learning outcomes improved automatically, as did 21A’s batch sizes, thanks to the individual attention. “It was a win-win situation for the students and us,” says Nagori. In the middle of 2015, while still running 21A, the duo designed a single-page app in order to test their full-throttle tech offerings. In the single-page app, student could capture a picture of their doubt and post it in the app, and based on the queries, they the app would create explanatory videos and send it to the student within a couple of days. “This helped us maintain a history of questions,” says Shankar.
Supported by the take-up, the duo started working to incorporate Doubtnut under its parent company- Class 21A Technologies Pvt. Ltd. in July 2016 and worked tirelessly for the next six months refining the technology and designing a repository of videos. By January 2017, they were completely prepared to launch the app version of Doubtnut. Further, for next six months, as student posted their queries on the app, a techie used to manually match the queries with the video solution from the repository.
And if the required video matching to the query isn’t present in the repository, the team would create the required video and send it to the student within eight hours. Meanwhile, the structure and calculations Aditya made ran behind the scenes and figured out how best to match queries with solution and ultimately, the fully automated app version of Doubtnut was launched.
We first want to become a habit-forming app for students. Thereafter, we will look at subscriptions.” Tanushree Nagori, co-founder, Doubtnut
GROWTH OF DOUBTNUT –
The online app has a huge library of classes and other resources. Thus, the library feature of Doubtnut isn’t availed by the users properly, Doubtnut witnessed a huge opportunity in this undiscovered library feature. Doubtnut observed that a teacher from the Kota classes sector in the library is well sought ought. Doubtnut even observed that the students who discovered the library feature from the Kota classes were converting more.
In order to enhance and improve the adoption of the library feature, Doubtnut took the help of Apxor to launch a cool tooltip. The intresting thing about the tooltip is that, Doubtnut placed the picture of a sought out teacher in the tooltip. This tooltip concept grabbed attention of students of 10th as well as 11th classes who witnessed this tooltip contextually, This contextual tooltip helped Doubtnut to scale up the adoption of its library feature by 18.6% and even cascaded to scale up conversions by 7.14%.
Today, the app has an 85,000 video repository that helps student aged 14-19 years. This enables Doubtnut to provide solutions to 90% of the queries- either being computational in nature or word-based problems in real time. Aditya is really quick to figure out that while other apps that enables students to click pictures and get solution to their queries across a breadth of subjects are available globally—most notably US-based Socratic—as far as mathematics is concern, they only allow computational queries.
The algorithm that allows Doubtnut to process word-based problems is proprietary, Aditya says. Doubtnut already has 176,000 students having downloaded the app and ask about 8,000 questions daily. While the service offered by Doubtnut is free for users, the team intends to put in place a subscription-based model in future. “We first want to become a habit-forming app for students, so right now, we’re focussed on engagement. Thereafter, we will look at subscriptions,” says Nagori, who isn’t ruling out an ad-supported model either.
Further, all the video solutions of Doubtnut are presented in a mix laguage of Hindi and English ‘Hinglish’, and the app, which was initially navigated in English only, is now available in 11 regional languages. It’s not just users from metro cities who are logging on to Doubtnut, says Nagori, but also those from small towns and villages, especially the maximum uptake is from Bihar and West Bengal, that is 50% of the users.
DOUBTNUT FUNDING AND INVESTMENT-
Doubtnut raised its first funnding of US $100K in April 2017 which was led by the co-founder of cure.fit, Ankit Nagori. “Unlike other edtech companies that are a push business, in that they create a large number of videos with explanatory content and sell it to parents, Doubtnut is a pull business. Students come to the platform in search of answers,” says Sarbvir Singh, partner at WaterBridge Ventures, which backed Doubtnut with a ₹3.5 crore pre-Series A investment in March this year, along with Omidyar Network.
In January 2020, Doubtnut raised $15 million funds in a Series A funding round led by China’s Tencent Holdings, Sequoia Capital, AET Japan, and Omidyar Network. Currently, Doubtnut has a valuation of $50 million on the stock market and has offices set-up in Delhi and Bangalore. With this new investment, DoubtNut looks forward to expand its programs to more cities and small towns.
By Gitika Mandhana