In late March, right after the government imposed a nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, Zishaan Hayath saw his business fall 20%. Sales teams, the lifeline of education technology platforms, could not move on the ground. Revenues declined sharply. Companies began offering free access to their platforms and content, hoping more users would come, stick around and eventually convert to paid subscribers.
“In the short term, everyone’s business is affected. This is an opportunity for us to generate trials,” Hayath, CEO of Mumbai-based edtech startup Toppr, had said. “It is a great time for parents to experience online learning themselves and for schools to decide how it works for them.”
The months that followed put edtech on what can best be described as a hockey-stick curve. At a time when 40% of Indian startups