Finished by Covid, Okhla youths raise from scratch to secure Rs 1 cr for their startup
When Covid hit India in January 2020, it left a debilitating impact on small businesses. The coaching industry was hit hard.
In Okhla too its impact could be felt on small businesses with many coaching institutes closing and some even going to their hometown and villages to start life new.
Among many such coaching institutes, Gurucool run by Jamia Nagar youths too faced the heat as its three branches in Delhi were shut. But the founders of this Ed-Tech start-up, didn’t give up and started their institute afresh after second Covid wave petered out.
The team, mostly students and alumni of Jamia Millia Islamia, made it big as they succeeded in securing investment from an Indian-American angel investor, Parvez Jasani (CEO, Zulie Venture Inc.) and FreeFlow Venture Builders, in the pre-seed round of $150,000 USD (Rs 1 crore).
Khansa Fahad who is the Co-Founder and COO, currently in the final year of BTech at Jamia, said: “Our story isn’t a story of success. Our story is a story of struggle, survival and patience. Our story is a story of an unfazed dream and an unwavering faith to create a more learned and empathetic world!”
Founded in 2019, Gurucool is an educational networking platform that offers a suite of phygital (physical+digital) tools to connect learners and educators.
Adil Meraj, founder and CEO of Gurucool, currently a student of Psychology at Jamia, said: “We’re excited to begin our journey with our strategic investors, who believe in our vision and have a deep understanding of our ecosystem.
“Digitally, learning and socialising have emerged as divergent streams resulting in educational tools, content, learners and educators scattered across exclusive domains. Being an educational networking platform enables Gurucool to be a Publisher, Teaching platform, Marketplace and Aggregator, all at the same time. Gurucool has bridged the digital divide and brought all stakeholders in one phygital world.”
Three of its founders and the majority of the team are students and alumni of Jamia.
With more than 25 tools and a vast content pool, Gurucool is empowering educators like schools and colleges to go online and build their digital infrastructure which enables learners to find, connect and learn from them.
Gurucool plans to launch the Padhaai India tool, in collaboration with a few state governments to make quality education free and hyperlocal, said the founders.
“Recently, it has been approved by Higher Education of Bihar Govt. for piloting. Bringing together the best content from the best of open sources and educators, Padhaai India has 3000+ curated courses in 8 regional languages. It also has live classes, study material, test series and questionnaires for K-12, Competitive exams and Skill India.
“The startup confirmed its plan to use the funds to build a strong team, invest in strengthening its technology platform, grow the business rapidly in India and internationally, and most importantly create a positive impact for its ever-growing Gurucool family,” it said.