ChalkStreet looks to raise funds in FY17-18
Aquib Ajani, a tutor on ChalkStreet, an education marketplace, teaches programming on the platform and has more than 3,000 subscribers to his course. Programming is just one of the things you can learn on ChalkStreet.
Rajesh Kumar, Co-founder, ChalkStreet and an IIM Kozhikode alumnus, said, "A lot of people have disparate learning needs at various points in time. The biggest challenge in all existing solutions, be it classroom or online, proprietary or free, is that (these are) not very easy to consume. ChalkStreet basically provides an on-demand, byte-sized learning in a very easy-to-consume format."
The startup was set up by Kumar, Venkata Raghulan and Raj Ramesh Karthik in 2015.
The trio also run Focus Academy for Career Enhancement (FACE), a higher education-focused skill-development company, and LearnBee, a Learning Management Solution for corporates.
Ajani said, "They were looking for content developers for online courses. I sent them a few samples. This led to the development of my first course. The first few courses were free, but now I get a percentage of the revenue. The thing about online is, it is accessible at any point of time."
Kumar said, "The major categories are test prep, business and technology. The courses are multilingual. The platform is freemium (where a few courses are free and the rest are charged). The early range courses will be free, for example, basics of Tamil. If you land in Chennai, you will learn enough to just survive."
The company is bootstrapped but is looking to raise funds in the next financial year.
Kumar said, "Initially, we offered full-cycle support for authors. Through our experience, we have templatized various aspects of course-creation such that the authors can depend on virtual support/guidance from our team and get their course done from wherever they are. We do a little bit of post-production on all videos to ensure standardisation of formats and output. Our author support team, evaluates a demo video from the authors and provide feedback, before the author can set out to make the final shoot. Users, especially the millennials and post-millennials who belong to the mobile-first generation, hate sitting through introductions and conclusions. They like summaries. They like to be infotained and edutained."