MUMBAI, February 2, 2016
Updated: February 2, 2016 05:44 IST
Pai, Aarin Capital invest in edtech startup Oust Labs
Former Infosys director TV Mohandas Pai and Aarin Capital have invested undisclosed amounts in Oust Labs, an edtech startup whose gamified platform helps students prepare for competitive exams.
Mr Pai and Manipal Group scion Ranjan Pai run private equity fund Aarin Capital, which invests in life sciences and education startups.
Oust’s platform allows students to play two-minute quizzes that consist five questions on various subjects on their mobile devices. It also allows students to instantly track their performance on real-time leaderboards and see where they stand compared to their peers.
“Online education is helping our students better prepare to excel in the knowledge-driven economy,” said TV Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education Services.
“While the challenge of delivering relevant and high-quality online content is being solved by a number of very promising ventures all over the world, there exists a larger fundamental challenge to engage and retain students’ attention on a constantly evolving paradigm of mobile and social.”
He said Oust’s efforts include the many forms of gamification and competitive challenges, cooperative knowledge discovery and sharing, and collaborative learning across local, state and national contexts.
The firm was started in Cupertino, California, in January 2015 by Shrikant Latkar, a former executive at InMobi.
It counts several Bay Area personalities as advisors including EdTech Executive Paulette Altmaier, who previously was head of partnerships at Khan Academy; Silicon Valley veteran and VP of Engineering of Sentient Technologies Gurmeet Lamba, and entrepreneur and architect Venkatesh Venkataraman, who has worked at several startups and large companies including Cisco Systems and Netflix.
The company has a presence in California, Bengaluru, Belagavi and Pune. Oust has a repository of 1.25 lakh questions across physics, chemistry, maths and biology, all curated by teachers and organised into modules.
“We tested our first version of the product with high school students last year. Based on their feedback, we completely re-architected our product to address their needs, so that students in smaller towns can seamlessly compete with students in larger metro cities and see where they stand. Several colleges, tuition centres and teachers are already using the product with their students and the feedback has been phenomenal. By making it easy for students to challenge peers in classes and other social contexts, we are able to engage students deeply in short bursts of time,” said Shrikant Latkar, founder and CEO of Oust Labs.
Mr Pai has emerged as one of India’s most prolific angel investors. He has invested in over three dozen young tech companies including online media company YourStory, peer-to-peer lending platform Faircent, and regional language-driven exam preparation venture OnlineTyari.com.
Oust’s platform allows students to play two-minute quizzes on their mobile devices