Toppr's Exponential Growth During Pandemic To Compete in EdTech Market

PV Vyshnavi PV Vyshnavi
Jun 30, 2022 9 min read
Toppr's Exponential Growth During Pandemic To Compete in EdTech Market

Even amidst the unprecedented times of the Covid19, one sector that has seen exponential growth is the EdTech industry. With the nationwide lockdown, as announced at the end of March, and many other successive lockdowns and strictures in numerous Indian metropolitan cities, most industries faced severe roadblocks to barely run their operations let alone, maintain or improve profitability. However, amidst the pandemic, online education and e-learning platforms have seen astonishing adoption and growth. This, however, is not surprising because the educational institutions are shut, making 1.5 billion students resort to a variety of digital education sites like Toppr to ensure learning continues. The company had seen good growth before it was acquired by Byju's on July 24, 2021, in a deal consisting of cash and equity shares, as it acquired Great Learning.

According to a report by BARC India and Nielson, there has been a 30% increase in the time spent on education apps on smartphones since the lockdown. The Edtech sector worth Rs 15,000 crore, has been battling challenges with the low B2C market penetration. The current surge of usage is thus, proving to be pivotal.

Edtech startups are attracting many more investors in the post-Covid19 world, thanks to the increased adoption of digital learning during the lockdown. The learning app Toppr focused on students in classes 5 to 12 and had managed to raise around $112.1 million till July 29, 2020, it's Series D funding round. Toppr had previously competed with unicorn companies like Byju, Unacademy, Vedantu, Meritnation and more. However, after it was acquired by the edtech giant, Toppr's revenue declined. The revenue of Toppr noticeably shrunk by 40% in FY21, as per the reports dated January 19, 2022.

After the lockdown subsided, and the coronavirus became less active in terms of potency and the people affected, the edtech sector has been seeing a huge downfall. Layoffs or job cuts and decreased security now wrap the edtech domain. So, here's learning about when Toppr was founded, how it has served in the pandemic, Toppr's funding, Toppr's business model, Toppr revenue, valuation and more.

Toppr - Company Highlights

Company Name Toppr
Headquarters Mumbai, Maharashtra
Founded On 2013
Founders Zishaan Hayath and Hemanth Goteti
CEO Zishaan Hayath
Employees 501-1000
Operating Revenue $6.80 mn (Rs 50.6 crore in FY21)
Products & Services Toppr Learning App

About Toppr
Growth of Toppr During Covid Pandemic
Toppr - Subscriptions
Toppr - Educational Products
Toppr - Funding
Toppr - Business and Revenue Model
Toppr - Growth and Revenues
Toppr - Layoffs

About Toppr

About Toppr

The logo of Toppr
The logo of Toppr

Toppr is a Mumbai-based Edtech startup, which had seen a 100% growth in paid users on a monthly basis, with free user engagement witnessing a 100% spike. The company was founded in 2013 and offered questions, solutions, concepts, practice tests, videos, and more to students. It also prepared them for competitive entrance exams such as IIT-JEE mains, BITSAT, and NEET.

When the platform announced free access to live classes and video classes, the CEO and Founder of Toppr, Zishaan Hyath said, β€œin the view of the evolving situation around the Covid19 pandemic, many schools are shut, hence why we are making Toppr live classes completely free for all students in classes 5 to 12. Besides that, our video classes have always been available as a free learning resource".

Growth of Toppr During Covid Pandemic

Toppr Operational Revenue FY18-FY21
Toppr Operational Revenue FY18-FY21

The Edtech firms have also taken to the digital media to acquire users and inform people about the free live classes on offer. There had been a 128% growth in digital ad spending by edtech apps during the lockdown, as per the BARC Nielson report. It is not just the big players that spent on advertising as they also acquired an impressive count of users abroad.

Amid Covid, there were more than a dozen Edtech startups including Byju's, Vedantu, etc., that have raised funding as investors through platforms that have registered strong growth during the pandemic. The learning sessions on its app per month had also witnessed a 2x growth, which was 14 to 15 million before Covid and became 32 million post-lockdown.

Toppr already had around 60,000 students on its learning platform and was aggressively seeking to bring around 2.4 lakh students onboard. The Edtech segment is likely to be on a roll ahead as investors globally are expected to put $87 billion in the world market over the next 10 years. The Indian market is also believed to grow at over 20% per annum to hit $2 billion sizes by 2021.

Though Toppr, which is now a part of Byju's, showed good growth in FY20's financials when the company recorded its operational revenues at Rs 84.3 crore from Rs 56.4 crore, which it saw in FY19, FY21's revenues for Toppr dipped by 40% to stand at Rs 50.6 crore. The last known Toppr valuation was over $100 mn, when it was sold to Byju's.


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Educational tools for students for online classes, fun learning, engagement, and assessments including Edmodo, Socrative, ClassDojo, Animoto, and Toppr learning

Toppr - Subscriptions

The company had emerged as the highest traffic destination for K-12 learning and hosted over 1 million sessions every day. The community of 50,000 educators from across the country had contributed to the platform with over 35 lakh learning pieces, including questions, solutions, concepts, games, and videos curated for the students.

This is was because the annual subscription for the academic year 2020 to 2021 on Toppr started at Rs 20,000, which is cheaper than its competitors. For example, Vedantu's annual subscription for all subjects for a class 10 student costs Rs 48,599. Given the high costs, the penetration of Edtech platforms was limited, which is why Toppr decided to bring down the cost of their subscription to get more users to the platform.

Some of the well known competitors of Toppr
Some of the well-known competitors of Toppr

Furthermore, the company changed its product strategy and created packages of shorter duration to help people tide over the current crisis. Toppr now has a 3 month and six-month package, starting at just Rs 3000. Both Toppr and Byju’s have registered an increase in paid users during the lockdown, Toppr has seen a four-fold increase, while Byju’s has seen its paid subscriptions double. However, things toppled in FY21, when the company's operational revenue plunged by 40%.


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Educational technology is the integrated use of computer technology (software, hardware), educational theory, and training. The emergence of coronavirus has a major impact on the Edtech sector of India. Educational institutions changed into online because of lockdown.

Toppr - Educational Products

Apart from the main product, which is the school learning app, Toppr also spends on teaching coding to kids and their school operating system (OS) built for teachers and administrators. Toppr School OS is an app for schools and teachers through which they can map curriculum, plan lessons and manage class timetables, automate attendance, assign homework.

Toppr school is an artificial intelligence-based Operating System to run β€œin school” and β€œafterschool” learning, creating a standardized and personalized experience. This helps in continuing to engage and explore various features and includes parents and students who are trying online learning as a go-to learning resource in these difficult times.

It also helps in taking tests, correcting test papers, etc. during or after school hours to save time. On the other hand, the coding product, which is called Toppr codr, launched recently, is another opportunity for the company to raise at least $50 million, if let’s say, the overall opportunity for us in digital learning is around $200 million.


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Toppr - Funding

Toppr raised a total of $112.1M in funding over 11 rounds. The latest funding of Toppr was raised on Jul 29, 2020, from a Series D round as edtech startups continue to benefit from the pandemic-driven online learning boom. This last round of Toppr funding was worth $44.31 mn. A Dubai-based investment firm, Foundation Holdings, led the fresh investments into the Mumbai-based e-learning platform. Existing investors such as Kaizen Private Equity also participated, according to a statement.

Date Name of the Funding Round Deal Value Lead Investors
July 29, 2020 Series D $44.31 mn Foundation Holdings
June 12, 2020 Series C $189.90K Kaizenvest
April 10, 2019 Debt Financing $5.57 mn Milestone Trustee Services
December 19, 2018 Series C $35 mn -
May 9, 2018 Debt Financing $1.96 mn Alteria Capital
October 23, 2017 Series B $5.69 mn -
April 24, 2017 Venture Round $336K WGG International
October 30, 2015 Debt Financing $2 mn -
May 7, 2015 Series B $10 mn Eight Roads Ventures, Helion Ventures, Elevation Capital
May 24, 2014 Seed Round $2 mn -

Toppr - Business and Revenue Model

The Toppr business model is similar to a freemium business model, which remains the same even after it is acquired by the edtech giant, Byju's. The company offers free live and offline classes, which can be availed full-fledged if the users go for paid subscriptions. The majority of the Toppr income comes from the classes and their subscription fees. The Toppr revenues witnessed a 3X growth between 2016-2019, where revenues received from the students from 5th-12th grade was equally split. Β 

Toppr - Growth and Revenues

The operating revenues of Toppr grew by 49.5% to $11.44 mn (Rs 84.3 crore) during FY20 from $7.65 mn (Rs 56.4 crore) earned in FY19. Furthermore, the income from financial assets of Toppr also witnessed a 46% growth to nearly $814K (Rs 6 crore) during FY20.

Looking at the side of expenses of the company, Toppr spent around $27.63 mn (Rs 203.7 crore) in total during FY20. Thus, it has registered a 31.6% increase when compared to the aggregate costs, which were Rs 154.8 crore during FY19. Coming to the unit level, Toppr has spent Rs 2.41 to earn a single rupee of revenue during FY20, which can be stated as a marginal improvement from what it was during FY19.

However, it is evident that Toppr failed to save its scale in terms of its financial performance in FY21 when BYJU'S acquired edtech startup reported a 6.2X of cash outflow, which increased from Rs 20.74 crore in FY20 to Rs 128.07 crore during FY21. The revenue of the company in FY20 was recorded to be Rs 84.32 crore, which plunged by 40%, thereby recorded at Rs 50.6 crore. The company has also been noted to have lost Rs 128.3 crore in FY21, which increased by 13.1%. Β 

Coming to the unit level, Toppr spent Rs 3.54 to earn a single rupee of revenue. This is reported to be around 46.3% more in contrast to what Toppr spent (Rs 2.42) during FY20. Besides, the acquisition of the company might also be a result of Toppr's inability to raise follow-on capital, and to scale.

Toppr - Layoffs

Toppr has announced that it would be firing close to 300 employees as of June 30, 2022. This news came when BYJU'S owned WhiteHat Jr. has already reported laying off around 300 employees. The Toppr layoffs would be close to 300 with immediate effect, and this can also go up to 500 later on, according to some reports. Β 

FAQs

When was Toppr founded and who is the founder of Toppr?

Toppr edtech startup has been founded by Zishaan Hayath and Hemanth Goteti in 2013.

Who are Toppr's competitors?

Some of the top competitors of Toppr are:

What is Toppr codr?

Toppr codr is an app for learning coding made specifically for kids.

What is the revenue of Toppr in FY21?

The revenue of Toppr stood at INR 50.60 crore in FY21, which decreased by 40% from INR 84.32 crore in FY20. Β 

Is Toppr acquired by Byju's?

Yes, Byju's acquired both Toppr and Great Learning on July 24, 2021. Therefore, Toppr currently stands acquired by Byju's.

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