Lucknow-based EduGorilla Community, which operates an eponymous online test preparation platform for government jobs, has raised Rs 5.3 crore (approximately $726,000) as part of an extended seed round from early stage investment firm Auxano Trust.
Investors from angel networks SucSEED Venture Partners, Pune Angels and Venture Garage participated in this round.
The capital raised will primarily be deployed in marketing and sales initiatives, Rohit Manglik, founder and CEO of EduGorilla, told TechCircle.
The company has raised a total of $1 million till date.
Founded by Manglik and Shashwat Vikram in 2016, EduGorilla began as an aggregator website of schools and coaching centres. After multiple pivots including lead selling and admission counselling, the startup zeroed in on test content for government jobs as its focus.
It launched the first test series in November 2018 and built a set of technology tools to reduce the turnaround time required to analyse demand and create and distribute content.
According to Manglik, state governments issue notifications about 45 days before examinations. It takes approximately 25-30 days for book publishers to analyse the demand-supply match, hire faculty well versed in the local language, print, and ship the books to distributors to reach the students.
This process leaves them with just 15-odd days in terms of a sales window and an even shorter period of preparation for students. Even the online peers of EduGorilla work on a 30-day sale window, he added.
“The whole process of getting mock tests was manual, there was no scientific method of approaching questions or computing the probability of a particular question being on an exam. Everything was guess work. We started building AI tools, analysing each and every part in a granular level,” Manglik said.
EduGorilla has built an artificial intelligence based demand and prediction algorithm to determine the operational profitability of notified exams. It works on two types of variables – a dynamic variable analysing key elements such as type of opening, number of vacancies, and under which state government and department.
The second variable analyses the trend parameters such as searches on Google, ecommerce portals and on its own portal for the content/book. Based on these variables, it decides on which exams to focus on.
The process then enters an automated workflow where the company is able to generate the test preparation content and mock tests for a particular exam in just 48 hours.
“We are bringing down the time drastically, from about 30 days to just four days. This gives us a larger sales window,” Manglik said.
The software also automatically converts the test content to a book format, which can be ordered on ecommerce platforms such as Amazon and Flipkart. Whenever it gets a request for a physical book, the startup gets it printed in two hours and ships directly to students.
EduGorilla primarily focuses on state-level government examinations such as Karnataka State Police, Punjab Public Service Commission, and Telangana State Cooperative Apex Bank examinations.
The platform currently has about 1,300 competitive examinations and 40,000 tests across five languages such as English, Kannada, Gujarati, Hindi and Bengali.
It operates on a subscription model where students can take up monthly or yearly offerings in the price range of Rs 99-699. Over 90% of its revenue is generated from state government exams and over 95% of revenue comes from its online sales.
The company has 70,000 daily active users. With the fresh capital, it wants to reach 6-7 lakh users daily, create content for 3,000 exams and build content in nine languages. EduGorilla also plans to get into doubt solving for students.
Delhi-based Radar Capital, a boutique investment consultancy outfit operated by Rahul Gupta, acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the transaction. It has previously advised startups such as Clevergene, Smartivity, Coffee Bond and Pika Pika App.
At a broader national level, EduGorilla competes with the likes of Info Edge-backed Adda247 and Testbook, which is backed by Iron Pillar, Matrix Partners India, and Better Capital. While these two focus more on central government jobs and higher education entrance exams, Venture Catalysts-backed Pariksha is a direct competition for EduGorilla.