Education technology start-up Edutor Technologies has tied up with publisher McGraw Hill Education (India) Pvt. Ltd to offer digital textbooks to institutions of higher education and broaden its student base.
Currently, Edutor brings out primary and secondary school textbooks and also caters to the test preparation market.
McGraw Hill will add 5,000 titles in 40 streams—from engineering, management and medicine to sciences, arts and commerce—to Ignitor, Edutor’s online learning platform.
The firm now aims to deploy its solution at 1,000 universities and colleges in India by 2018, Edutor chief executive Ram Gollamudi said in an interview.
Higher education will account for a quarter of Edutor’s target of 1 million students in three years.
“McGraw Hill will help us penetrate higher education market. Its content is stronger in higher education in India. We will be able to serve much larger audience and gain deeper penetration,” Gollamudi said.
Unlike schoolgoers, higher education students have ready access to computers and tablets, making them a natural fit for Edutor’s learning platform.
Founded in 2010 by Gollamudi, Ramesh Karra and Prasanna Boni, Edutor competes with the likes of Amazon Kindle, iTunes U, Kitaboo (a product of Hurix Systems Pvt. Ltd.) and Rapples, the e-learning solution of Repro India Ltd.
Hyderabad-based Edutor is funded by Sri Capital and Delhi-based Safari Digital Education Initiatives Pvt. Ltd, a unit of publisher S. Chand & Co. Ltd.
Hyderabad Angels, a network of angel investors focused on early-stage businesses, exited Eductor in August with 3.5 times the return on investment. It sold its stake to Safari Digital.
Edutor has tie-ups with 20 of the country’s top publishers, including Pearson India Education Services Pvt. Ltd, S. Chand, Orient Blackswan Pvt. Ltd, Cengage Learning India Pvt. Ltd, Ratnasagar, Frank Brothers & Co. Publishers Ltd, Macmillan Publishers Ltd and Cambridge University Press India Pvt. Ltd.
Its e-learning platform is used by 70,000 students in 110 campuses of educational institutes such as Meridian School, Narayana Schools, Aakash Institute and Career Launcher. About 15% of its user base is from South Africa and West Asia.
For McGraw Hill, the partnership with Edutor will mean an additional source of income as more educational institutes and students take to digital textbooks. “We see huge potential in the relationship,” Shashank Jaitley, director of marketing (India and Saarc) at McGraw Hill said in a phone interview. “If more licences get sold, it makes more business sense for us.”
Since higher education in India is curriculum-driven and institution-led, Edutor and McGraw Hill will independently approach educational institutes to persuade them to move to digital learning platforms. The focus will initially be on engineering and management education, which account for the bulk of higher education students, Jaitley said.
To begin with, Edutor and McGraw Hill are implementing the digital learning solutions at institutes such as the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode, Great Lakes Institute of Management, VIT University and SRM University. “Once we make this work at top-level institutes, we can use them as cases to pitch the solution to other institutes,” said Jaitley.