When it comes to amalgamating classroom teaching and technology, things could get quite tricky, at least when looking for a long term solution. Needless to say, overhead projectors have been the only technology mostly seen in classrooms and recently we’ve also seen a shift in pattern towards e-learning. One common practice has been to learn using pre-recorded videos, but how long can a monotonous video hold a student's attention? Working to cross this hurdle, Bengaluru-based startup Impartus Innovations is trying to break the monotony and make learning fun with personalised and gamified videos.
The startup was founded in 2013 by Amit Mahensaria, Alok Choudhury and Manish Kumar. They started out with an eight seater office in Gurgaon (that they still retain). Being a deep technology company, the founders decided to move to Bengaluru as soon as they got funding in December 2014. "After face to face to learning, videos are the best form of learning. They would plug the gap between inside classroom learning and outside classroom learning," Mahensaria tells us. The startup is currently catering to more than 65 universities, 35000 students and 2 lakh hours have been recorded.
So, Impartus is a video platform offering learning solutions and one of its products called Lecture Capture records lectures (students teachers, presentations, expressions) and whatever goes on in the classroom to ensure that anyone watching it from the outside will be the first hand experience of what is going on in the class. The content is then available on the Impartus platform for web, Android and iOS.
With a team of 70 members, Impartus has offices in India, Malaysia and the US. "The idea to opening in US comes from the requirement of a few skills that are better there such as UI/UX designers, machine learning professionals, and so on," Mahensaria says. But the journey hasn’t been easy as convincing people has been difficult, though there were a few early adopters. Impartus has partnered with some renowned institutions such as IIM Bangalore, BMS, Manipal, SP Jain, to name a few.
It is also in talks with a US-based research house which has been working at video searchability. "Videos aren't searchable, even if they are, it is limited to extracting keywords. When you look at a video, on the left side you will find the list of contents to make searches easy and also personal recommendations depending upon your usage," he explains.
Impartus had raised $4.1 million from Kaizen Private Equity in December 2014. As a B2B player, Mahensaria tells us, every customer is profitable. The money is being used wisely on product, building an ecosystem, marketing and product team. "We aren't funding losses or customers, each customer brings profit at a good margin. The funding will go towards expanding into new geographies and markets," he adds.