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Edu Content Co Learnpedia Raises Money From Ixora, Others; Our Take

Learnpedia, Hyderabad based digital content startup,  has secured an undisclosed sum of funding from Ixora Ventures and a consortium of angel investors. Founded in 2012 by Krishna Rao Akula, Learnpedia offers a range of study material for JEE (an entrance exam for admission in the Indian Institute of Technology, among others), known as JEE Studymate, in the form of DVDs, micro SD cards, for any android based tablets. Learnpedia intends to utilize the funds towards improvement of content, sales and addition of new products.

The website claims that LearnPedia has over 750 sessions covering the JEE exams. The Micro SD Cards are available for Rs 8900, DVD’s are available for Rs 6900, while a Study Mate 10 inch tablet preloaded with content is available for Rs 18,900.

Their website also offers a forum and a blog to guide the students. For a one year old firm, it has only 33 members registered in its forum. So far Learnpedia has secured 3500 orders in its first year. It seems from their website that they are involved in both B2B and B2C sale of their products.

Learnpedia has a team of 35 people, and says it has partnered with 70 teachers and students as support to respond to student queries within 24 hours of posting them.

Interestingly, Learnpedia is based from Hyderabad in the state of Andhra Pradesh which is known to contribute to high number of IITians from its state every year. This product would definitely have significant prospect in its home state due to the hype around these entrance exams every year, but idea for it would be to increase distribution across geographies.

Where Do They Want To Go With This? (Nikhil adds)

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LearnPedia needs to think beyond just using DVDs, micro SD cards and retailing for distribution of content. I guess they have to decide whether they’re a content company, distribution company or a device company. Being all three will be tricky.

As a content company, they need to get external partners for distribution of their content, and need to focus on creating and delivering excellent content to its users. They could figure out distribution and device partners.

As a distribution company, they need to produce and aggregate the best content for JEE, and figure out partners for distributing all of the content. In this case, they might become a retail organization for education content related to JEE (and maybe other entrance exams).

As a device company, they need to become an OEM, aggregate the best content, minimise device costs, and figure out retailing the devices.

Being all three will probably not allow them to scale.

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