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Byju's, Unacademy go on advertising spree amid closures

Edtech firms Byju’s, Vedantu, Unacademy, Toppr, Testbook, UpGrad and a few other players are offering free access to their platforms, content and live classes for students and they are backing that up with strong advertising and PR drives to get as many people to sample their offerings.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Mar 23, 2020, 01.28 PM IST
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Edtech firms are trying hard to bag new users as online education takes off globally.
BENGALURU: “India’s learning won’t stop. Every student will now have free access to our live online classes & premium content.” The full-page print ad dated March 19 from live tutoring platform Vedantu was one among many by education technology firms, which have been on advertising overdrive over the past few weeks. Several other edtech firms also have put out similar ads on front pages of dailies.

At a time when schools, colleges and tuition centres are shut due to the Covid-19 virus outbreak, edtech firms are trying hard to bag new users as online education takes off globally. Edtech firms Byju’s, Vedantu, Unacademy, Toppr, Testbook, UpGrad and a few other players are offering free access to their platforms, content and live classes for students and they are backing that up with strong advertising and PR drives to get as many people to sample their offerings.

“It’s a good user acquisition strategy,” said Karthik Srinivasan, an independent brand communication consultant who has been closely tracking ads in recent weeks. “They (edtech firms) have something useful to people today and they’re taking advantage of that.”

It was still too early to say whether people would stay on as paying customers after the current widespread lockdown is over, but the edtech sector would continue spending big advertising money in the foreseeable future to ride on this momentum, he added.

“A lot of exams have been cancelled and usage of our platform is around examinations. So, to counter that, we’ve been doing a lot of SMS and email advertising around our own student base and we’re seeing great results,” said Ashutosh Kumar, co-founder and CEO of Testbook, which claims it has seen transactions in the last 48 hours go up to 250,000 from 600-800 daily transactions earlier. “(They) are trying to be an extension of increasing OTT consumption and use of platforms such as video chat to enable learning,” Nihal Nambiar, associate VP at digital marketing agency iProspect, said.

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