Vedantu founders win Comeback Kid award, Technology News, ETtech

Vedantu founders win Comeback Kid award, Technology News, ETtech

Vedantu’s founders — Vamsi Krishna, Pulkit Jain and Anand Prakash – showed grit and commitment to build a company that provides affordable education for the masses even when the odds were stacked against them.

Unanimously recognizing the achievement, the ET Startup Awards jury chose them as winners in the Comeback Kid category in a tightly contested category with mobile gaming company Mobile Premier League.

Krishna, Jain and Prakash clinched the title for their ingenuity in pulling off a pivot that has become the hallmark of Vedantu’s business.

“Going through multiple pivots and doing it at the right time is commendable,” a jury member said.

Other members of the jury noted the story of Vedantu’s founders, who went from being almost bankrupt to scaling up the business in just a few short years.

They said that a big requirement to win in the category was resilience, which can inspire other startups to keep going despite hardships.

“We have tremendous respect for the Vedantu team,” said jury member Larry Illg, CEO of Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures).

“Vedantu is on track to impact the lives of 250 million K-12 students in India with their education platform focused on live, personalised learning for students — in turn changing the future course for the country as a whole,” he said.

The founders — having started Vedantu in 2014 after selling their offline test prep company Lakshya to MT Educare for an estimated Rs 200 crore — faced their biggest challenge in 2017 when an investor pulled out of a funding round at the last moment.

This left the company with a cash runway of just three months, forcing the founders to lay off 30% of staff and cut spending. However, the incident also forced them to pivot their model.

From providing online learning for individuals, the company switched to teaching small groups in a matter of months and hundreds of students simultaneously subsequently.

They did this without compromising on the learning outcomes of students, through the use of technology.

“Our message to the kids we teach has always been to believe in themselves – ‘be persistent and you will achieve your dreams’. I am proud that we have been able to walk that talk, and this award is a testimony to that,” said Krishna, who is also CEO of Vedantu.

Today, Vedantu is among the leading education technology companies in the country, with its most recent $100 million funding round led by Coatue Management valuing the company at $600 million, behind leader Byju’s and Unacademy.

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