e-learning company EdServ SoftSystems has announced that it intends to raise $35 million through a GDR issue to fund the company’s expansion plans. The company’s board has approved the intent and it aims to complete the entire funding process within the next two weeks. The company intends to utilize the funding for infrastructure expansion, investment in 160 additional schools, new mobile and TV offerings, up gradation of IT systems and for brand promotion, according to Edserv Chairman & CEO, S. Giridharan. The company also plans to expand its eLearning services to overseas markets targeting schools, IT skills, international test preparations and other segments.
In a filing with the BSE, Edserv informs that in the wake of the fresh funding, it has upward revised its revenue guidance for the year to a 60% growth from last year’s revenues of Rs 122 crore. It also expects to maintain a profitability of 30% on its top line.
Foray Into Mobile Apps
The company has launched a mobile platform, humthum.com, which it says, would enable the company to offer its own educational content, in addition to localized information, classifieds and utilities such as an image to PDF converter and a bar code scanner. The mobile app offers info services on the basis of the user’s area pin-code.
It also allows users to build their own customized mobile home pages with a <user name>.humthum.com sub-domain. The company has tied-up with BlackBerry and Samsung to offer the app in their respective app stores.
Although, the humthum.com website has a download page, where users can enter their mobile numbers to get a WAP link to download the application, we got a 404 page not found error, while trying to use it. The application can also be downloaded by visiting m.humthum.com or from GetJar.
We managed to download the app from the BlackBerry App World, and it turned out to be a web-shell for a web-app linking us to areapartner.com. The app takes users to a registration page where they need to enter their name, e-mail ID and area pin code. Following that, it generates a random keyword which has to be sent to a mobile number to get access to the app.
The app is simply a WAP page with links to Edserv’s Lampsglow and 2tion services, providing contact numbers for enrollment, in addition to some web based tools including a dictionary, thesaurus, bar code image converter and a picture to pdf converter.
All these utilities do not make use of the phone’s native hardware, since the app is simply a web-app. So to scan a bar code, you will first need to take a picture via the phone’s camera and then upload it on the app so that it can yield a result.
The app also allows users to put buy and sell listings and browse them, in short a classifieds section. There is also a local news and events page, which lists them on the basis of the area pin code.
Humthum wants representatives or area partners for each pin code, to generate content and carry out m-commerce transactions. Although the intent behind the app is to create a hyper-local market/ information place, the execution is very basic and far from being complete.
Perhaps Edserv could take a clue from the TaazzaGo app which addresses the same need in a much better way. We also don’t understand why Edserv wants to get into the classifieds space, when we already have other specialized players like Getit, Just Dial, Sulekha and Quikr, among others.