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ClassMonitor is a home learning platform, which blends traditional teaching with modern methods of learning. Its hybrid learning tool takes children to a learning space that combines real-life learning experiences with curated activities. The ClassMonitor Learning Kit blends traditional teaching with modern learning to ease a child’s transition from preschool to formal schooling.
The startup focuses on the fundamental development of a child based on five core areas: linguistic skills, logical thinking, sensory and motor skills, cognitive skills, and creativity. Founded by Vijeet Pandey and Vikas Rishishwar in 2016, the ClassMonitor app currently has 85,000 registered users. Also, in the last 12-14 months, the startup has delivered and dispatched its kits to more than 5,000 PIN codes across India, and other 14 countries.
ClassMonitor - Company Highlights
- Startup Name-ClassMonitor
- Founders-Vijeet Pandey (CEO), Vikas Rishishwar
ClassMonitor - About and Vision
Vijeet and his childhood friend Vikas Rishishwar came up with the idea of ClassMonitor, an EdTech startup in the early childhood learning segment. They have created well-researched kits to provide holistic learning experiences for preschoolers and help parents keep their children away from screens. ClassMonitor is a home learning platform, which blends traditional teaching with modern methods of learning. Its hybrid learning tool takes children to a learning space that combines real-life learning experiences with curated activities. The platform offers integrated annual packs which are designed for comprehensive learning, logical thinking, and problem-solving. The products are affordably priced and designed to address the year-long learning needs of children up to 8 years.
Aim and Vision: ClassMonitor's journey has just started. The team aims to bridge the overwhelming gap in the modern education systems in India and abroad – that of the lack of parental involvement in their child’s learning. They are addressing this gap using a two-pronged solution, which involves combining traditional and digital learning. The startup's vision is to create high-quality learning programs and establish itself as a leader in the early years' education sector.
ClassMonitor - Industry Details
(Reference Source: BLinC_EdTech_Early_Childhood_Deepdive Report)
In the report, Early Childhood EdTech has been divided into 4 major sectors – Aspiration, Engagement, Learning, and Ancillary Services focusing on the end-use/outcome of the product.
ClassMonitor as part of the Engagement segment fulfills the basic requirement of keeping children constructively occupied. Its high engagement products comprise interactive elements and a strong subscription model which results in customer retention.
Engagement Sector -
Target Market Size/ Customer Base – 40 Million ( All Urban and 10% of Rural Indians with smartphone access)
Total available market- $ 2,300 m
ClassMonitor aims to capture at least 10% of this market
ClassMonitor - Inspiration and Idea
Vijeet returned to India in early 2016 after completing his Master's in Accounts and Finance in the UK and working in the retail business. He wanted to become an entrepreneur and do something in the field of education, which has always been something close to his heart. So, Vijeet along with his childhood friend Vikas Rishishwar, an expert in technology, set up ClassMonitor in March 2016.
Version 1 of ClassMonitor
The duo wanted to do something in the education sector where technology would be the backbone. They, therefore, decided to enter the EdTech segment to solve the parent-teacher communication problem that was a major challenge, back in 2016. Schools had been connecting parents and teachers through WhatsApp groups which were quite unprofessional and unsystematic. That's how the ClassMonitor platform was born, as a means of communication for parents and teachers. They called it Version 1 of ClassMonitor.
While in the idea stage, they raised undisclosed angel funding from a Sweden-based investor, whom Vijeet had known during his time in the UK. ClassMonitor was growing as a platform gradually, but the founders wanted to solve the larger problems in the sector. Around early 2017, after interacting with their clients, mostly parents, as well as school principals and teachers, they saw that the major pain point was for parents of kids between the ages of 1-7 years — the early learners. They wanted to participate in their child's progress but didn't know how to do so. At the same time, they were looking for solutions that would keep their kids away from mobile phones, computers, and tablets. This gave them enough insight to innovate. In October 2018, the duo pivoted from a communication platform to a hybrid early learning tool that marries offline learning with digital cues and rewards.
Latest Version of ClassMonitor
Essentially, they built an O2O model in EdTech, and that's when the hybrid learning model came into the picture, as a combination of online and offline tools. The technology aspect is meant completely for parents, educators, and mentors, and the learning kits are meant for the children. Through technology, the parent understands what, how, and when to do something, and the kits help children perform hands-on activities and learn in the process. The online live sessions are for parents to guide them on how to get their children to perform the activities in ClassMonitor's learning kits. Instructors take these classes three days a week. People are purchasing the kit and the live classes feature together now. The startup has received excellent responses to its products.
ClassMonitor - Product and USP
The ClassMonitor Learning Kit blends traditional teaching with modern learning to ease a child’s transition from preschool to formal schooling. ClassMonitor focuses on the fundamental development of a child based on five core areas: linguistic skills, logical thinking, sensory and motor skills, cognitive skills, and creativity.
Every box contains 250 DIY activities, including flashcards, worksheets, rhymes, stories, games, fun activities, puzzles, and art supplies for kids to play based on a set of more than 14 themes like plants, animals, and more. It comes bundled with a subscription to the ClassMonitor app that has AR features and a QR code scanner. The learning kit comes in four different product variants for children aged 1 to 8 years and lets parents teach, play, and bond meaningfully with their children. All sheets and flashcards have QR codes that can be scanned on the app to get the cues needed to complete an activity. The product integrates online guidelines and offline activities to bring interactive learning content for kids. The activities progress in sequential order from easy to hard. As a parent one can use the app to learn how to help kids to perform these activities such as how to use the AR feature of the application. The app also provides details on the child's learning outcomes after each activity —what your child’s learning progress is after he/she completes a single activity, etc.
They've built EdTech for adults. Parents can personalize the pace of learning for their kids, choose activities they enjoy, and focus on areas that need development. This flexibility ensures that the child’s learning graph is individualized, and the parent can keep track of their child’s progress and attempt the embedded assessments based on the child’s learning readiness.
ClassMonitor - Founders and Team
Vijeet Pandey (CEO) and Vikas Rishishwar are the founders of ClassMonitor.
After returning to India in early 2016, post completing his Master's in Accounts and Finance in the UK and working in the retail business, Vijeet wanted to become an entrepreneur and do something in the field of education. Vikas who is Vijeet's childhood friend with expertise in technology-shared his dream and they launched ClassMonitor in 2016.
During that time, they met Mrs. Shobha Wilfred an expert in early childhood education, with over 35 years of experience in content development, child psychology, and working with children of that age group. She joined them as Content Head. Mrs. Shaheen Shafi, an educationist with over 27 years of experience in curriculum development, training, and school leadership was their advisor. She recently joined ClassMonitor formally in May 2021 as Senior Curriculum Director.
Vijeet is the CEO of the company and looks at Marketing, Operations, Strategy, and Business Scaling roles. Vikas as Product Head leads the Technology initiative, Shaheen and Shobha spearhead the education initiatives.
ClassMonitor is currently a 150-member team. It has an open and supportive work culture. The startup seeks people who are driven, inspired, and passionate, who seek challenges, and are comfortable working in a dynamic and fast-paced workspace.
ClassMonitor - Name and Logo
ClassMonitor initially entered the market as a parent-teacher communication platform. Therefore, at that time the brand name made sense. Eventually, they evolved the ClassMonitor Learning Kit and started selling. It was then that the team wondered if the brand name would work in the market. However, by that time they had already sold a lot of kits. The team, then, sought the advice of brand experts and they said that their excellent sales numbers demonstrated that the brand name was working well and changing it was not required. Therefore, they continued with the existing brand name- ClassMonitor. Post that, the brand continues to garner large numbers and volumes thereby validating the decision.
ClassMonitor - Business Model & Revenue Model
ClassMonitor works on three business models -
B2C – Where it directly sells to its customers
B2B- Where it sells to preschools
B2B2C- This is a distribution network of 200+ mothers who are official distributors of the brand’s products across India.
Price: The learning kit comes in four different models, each priced at Rs 3,499 per annum (including the app subscription). It has also created Skill Booster Kits priced at Rs 1,099 annually for kids aged 6 to 8, along with a Skill Master Hindi Edition Program as an extension to its ongoing programs, to introduce Hindi as a vernacular language to early learners in an engaging, active, and a Play-based approach.
Distribution: ClassMonitor sells the kits on its own website and on Amazon.
ClassMonitor - Startup Launch & Marketing Strategies
The startup officially launched its ClassMonitor Kits in 2018 in an exhibition in Indore. It was indeed an exciting and eventful day, where the team sold 70 kits. Vijeet (C-founder & CEO, ClassMonitor) was personally at the stall from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.
From that day onwards the team never looked back. ClassMonitor's products speak for themselves and its biggest strength is word-of-mouth publicity.
In the initial days, while the startup was still in the process of procuring its funding, the team worked on innovative marketing strategies. The B2B model was working well. In January 2019, ClassMonitor appointed its first parent distributor and launched the B2BC model. Currently, she heads the distribution network of 200+ mothers who are official distributors of the brand’s products across India. These MOM CEOs have enabled the reach too far from the corners of the country at negligible marketing costs.
ClassMonitor has been able to leverage social media platforms like Instagram effectively. A lot of parents share Insta stories of how delighted they and their children are with the learning kits. They celebrate each learning milestone of their children with pride.
One of the biggest successes of its kits is that it has inspired many kids to discover their inner genius. For example, many parents have shared that they have been able to enter their child's names in India Book for Records for various achievements using the ClassMonitor Kit.
ClassMonitor - Growth and Stats
In the last 12-14 months, ClassMonitor has delivered and dispatched the kits to more than 5,000 PIN codes across India, and as well as 14 countries. In 2020, it saw a 5x growth and aims to take that figure up to 10x in this financial year. As a brand, ClassMonitor has grown, and the team managed to reach out to the smallest of cities in India. As of now, the company has a presence in around 600+ cities in India. Around 65 percent of the contribution comes from the top cities, but there is also a lot of demand from the small cities and towns as well.
By raising around $1Mn ClassMonitor has already achieved just under 10 crores in revenue.
In the next few years, the startup plans to grow the topline by 4X-5X through new products, wider distribution, and user growth. Its B2B revenue has also grown 100 percent in the last two months.
Schools have charged session fees, but they are unable to conduct classes due to the pandemic. So, they are buying kits in bulk and distributing them to the parents. The direct consumer traffic has also increased 50 percent per month since the start of the lockdown. With parents stuck at home for long hours with their kids, DIY engagement activities have grown organically. Overall, COVID-19 has had a positive effect on all revenue streams.
Amidst the global pandemic where all industries have been severely hit, ClassMoitor has been consistently witnessing growth as it has tracked 20,000 customers in the last 3 months. It aims to clock another 40,000 in the next 3 months to garner a total of 1 lakh customers by 2021.
"We are proud to say that we have a PAN India customer base of parents with children in the age group of 1-8 years with Tamil Nadu, Karnataka & Maharastra being the Top 3 states" Vijeet added.
The ClassMonitor app currently has 85,000 registered users.
Currently, ClassMonitor has 95% of the total users from India and 5% of the total users from abroad. In the next 6 months, it aims to increase that ratio to be 90% and 10% from India and abroad respectively. This growth trajectory is followed by its global expansion recently.
Additionally, the team expects growth in the Philippines, Australia, and the Middle East markets and aims to continue deeper penetration in Tier 1-3 markets. They are also looking to strengthen their customer base in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan.
There are currently three sales channels in the company. The D2X space contributes most of the volume, while it also partners with several independent pre-schools.
Also Read: Top 7 ways to create buzz around your startup
Partnership & Expansion
The Indian pre-school market has two parts: branded and unbranded, but 85 percent of the Indian pre-school market is unbranded and ClassMonitor has partnered with them to improve their content and teaching methods. The third channel is a distribution network of 200+ mothers who are official distributors of the brand’s products across India.
The brand is currently catering to the age group of 1-8 years and the majority of the volume is coming from the age bracket of 1-5 years. In the long run, ClassMonitor aims to expand its product range to cater to the age group of 0-12 years.
ClassMonitor - Funding and Investors
To date, ClassMonitor has raised INR 6 crore since its inception in 2016.
ClassMonitor - Advisors/Mentors
Mr. Nandkumar Venkatraman (Senior Advisor Content): A well-known academician, Mr. Nandkumar, in these 4 decades has donned various roles as CEO, Director, Member Board of Directors, Director Academics, Principal, etc. Key assignments have included Adarsh Group of Schools Chennai, TVS School Madurai, Dhirubhai Ambani International School, GIIS Singapore, Ecole Mondial World School Mumbai.
Additionally, ClassMonitor has an education advisory panel comprising highly experienced and well-known educationists. The advisory panel meets twice a year to discuss the academic initiatives of the company.
ClassMonitor - Tools used to run the startup
Daytion is a platform created in-house. This has become the backbone of the upscaling from a team of 10 to 150 members and has helped streamline the ClassMonitor's OKR based milestones thereby ensuring efficiency and greater productivity of the team.
To engage and retarget the existing customers, the team has inbuilt an RPA (Robotic Process Automation)
The startup uses G-suite for internal communication and collaboration. This was especially useful in coordinating work and staying connected across teams during the COVID lockdown.
ClassMonitor - Achievements/Recognition
ClassMonitor has received numerous awards and recognition for its high-quality products and dynamic and innovative leadership, for example, 2021 saw it winning the TIE Start-Up award in recognition of its exemplary work.
ClassMonitor - Future Plans
International expansion: In terms of expansion, ClassMonitor’s current focus is India but the company has recently started operations in the US and Dubai.
“We are getting a lot of organic demand from these two countries, so we are now looking at a focused effort in growing there,” says Vijeet.
The team is also exploring possibilities of participating in the government’s educational projects especially the Foundational Literacy & Numeracy initiatives.
Future goals: Currently, the company is investing heavily in the content team to develop exciting high-quality content. For the age group of 0-6, the company is planning on continuing their pedagogy of keeping the kids away from mobile phones, and for the age group of 6-12 years, it is building AI/ML-enabled technology that can be directly used by children. The key focus areas are penetrating deeper into existing markets, building innovative content, and increasing marketing efforts.
ClassMonitor - FAQs
What is ClassMonitor?
ClassMonitor is a home learning platform, which blends traditional teaching with modern methods of learning. Its hybrid learning tool takes children to a learning space that combines real-life learning experiences with curated activities.
Who founded ClassMonitor?
Vijeet Pandey (CEO) and Vikas Rishishwar are the founders of ClassMonitor.
Is ClassMonitor an Indian company?
Yes. ClassMonitor is an Indian company headquartered in Indore.
What are ClassMonitor Learning Kits?
The ClassMonitor Learning Kit blends traditional teaching with modern learning to ease a child’s transition from preschool to formal schooling. The kit comes in 4 different product variants for children aged 1 to 8 years. Every box contains 250 DIY activities, including flashcards, worksheets, rhymes, stories, games, fun activities, puzzles, and art supplies for kids to play based on a set of more than 14 themes like plants, animals, and more.
How does ClassMonitor make money?
ClassMonitor makes money by selling the learning kits on its own website and on Amazon. The learning kit comes in four different models, each priced at Rs 3,499 per annum (including the app subscription). It has also created Skill Booster Kits priced at Rs 1,099 annually for kids aged 6 to 8, along with a Skill Master Hindi Edition Program as an extension to its ongoing programs.