The Need & The Solution

Oust Labs, an edtech startup whose gamified platform helps students excel in competitive exams, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from T.V. Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education Services and Aarin Capital.

Oust was founded by Shrikant Latkar in Cupertino, California, with an aim to make learning fun and exciting in a mobile-first world. The company helps students excel in competitive exams in 2 minutes and 5 questions at a time.

According to a study by Forbes India, Indian consumers spend an average of 3 hours and 18 minutes on their smartphones every day. Oust is leveraging this growing amount of time spent on mobile devices to rollout a collaborative and competitive learning mobile-first solution – one that builds upon existing student behavior to deliver a natural fit.

The Need & The Solution

Today, students face a lot of pressure to perform in short period of time + have shorter attention spans. And every student wants to know where do they stand relative to others? How he/she can get better? Thus, the need of a platform which not only allows them to score better but also keep them engaged, clicked Shrikant to design Oust – ground-up by understanding student behavior in a mobile-first world.

The startup aims to make exam preparation fun for students by combining the fun and social aspects of mobile gaming with rigorous curriculum. One can add friends and join groups, which consists of students with the same goal. By infusing friendly competition with peers and other like-minded individuals who have similar aspirations, Oust helps students benchmark their performance.

Students can instantly track their performance on real time leaderboards and see where they stand.

The company had tested its first version of the product with high school students last year. Based on feedback, the team completely re-architected the product to address the user needs, so that students in smaller towns can seamlessly compete with students in larger metro cities and see where they stand.

“Several colleges, tuition centers 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. On monetisation front, the startup plans to keep the app for free and work with colleges for some sort of revenue engagements in future.

The Numbers

Oust has a total repository of 1.25 Lakh questions across Physics, Chemistry, Maths and Biology subjects, all curated by teachers and organised into modules, so that students can focus on their key areas of improvement.

For PUC I and II, Oust has more than 30,000+ free Multiple Choice Questions (including past question papers) for the Karnataka Common Entrance Examination. The product is also available for CBSE, AIPMT, COMEDK and Maharashtra CET exams. The startup has been doing extensive trials of its Oust App in smaller cities of Karnataka since August 2015.

Also Read:  Movers & Shakers Of The Week [7 December – 12 December]

 

According to Shrikant, users on average spend up to 12 minutes on the Android app which so far has over 7,500 downloads.

Currently, Oust has presence in California, Bangalore, Belagavi and Pune and is working with 6 member team.

“Oust is bringing about real innovation by studying the evolution of students’ learning behavior and building new value propositions that they can relate to. This includes the many forms of gamification and competitive challenges, cooperative knowledge discovery and sharing, and collaborative learning across local, state and national contexts. That is a very impressive vision, and I am glad to be a part of such an undertaking”, Mohandas Pai said.

Team Oust

The company counts several renowned Bay Area personalities as advisors, including Paulette Altmaier, EdTech Executive who previously was Head of Partnerships at Khan Academy, Gurmeet Lamba, a silicon valley veteran and VP of Engineering of Sentient Technologies (an AI company) and Venkatesh Venkataraman, entrepreneur and architect who has worked at several startups and large companies including Cisco Systems and Netflix.

Prior to launching Oust, Shrikant was CMO of InMobi, CRO at Fuel and Publisher of Apponomics.

Earlier this year, Gyaanzone.com, an online education gateway facilitating students with flexible learning opportunities through access to hundreds of Indian schools, colleges, universities, exams, courses and other distance learning programs raised an undisclosed amount in funding from GBIM Technologies.

Mohandas Pai backs edtech startup Oust Labs; provides seed funding

 

February 2, 2016:

Edtech startup Oust Labs, has raised an undisclosed seed round from T.V.Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education Services and Aarin Capital.

Founded by former chief marketing officer of InMobi, Shrikant Latkar, Oust Labs offers a gamified platform that helps students excel in Indian competitive exams. It has been running trials of its app in smaller cities of Karnataka since August last year. The company has presence in California, Bangalore, Belagavi and Pune.

“Our goal is to help students to qualify for a better college or job, irrespective of where they are studying right now,” said CEO Latkar.

Oust claims to have a total repository of 125,000 questions across various subjects including physics, chemistry and maths.  It also claims that over 7,000 student currently play their short 2-minute quizzes that consist of five questions on various subjects on their mobile devices.

The company advisors include Paulette Altmaier, former head of partnerships at Khan Academy, Gurmeet Lamba, VP of Engineering of Sentient Technologies (an artificial intelligence company) and Venkatesh Venkataraman, entrepreneur and architect who has worked at several startups and large companies including Cisco Systems and Netflix.

“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,” said T.V. Mohandas Pai.

The former Infosys executive has invested in over three dozen young tech companies including online media company YourStory, peer-to-peer lending platform Faircent, and vernacular language-driven exam preparation venture OnlineTyari.com.

Mohandas Pai and Aarin Capital Invest In Oust Labs

Mohandas Pai and Aarin Capital Invest In Oust Labs

Nitin Konde February 3, 2016

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3 February, 2016, Bangalore:  In its recent round of funding, Ed-tech mobile app Oust Labs has managed to acquire an undisclosed amount of funding from Mohandas Pai and Aarin Capital. Recently floated in the market in 2015 by Shrikant Latkar, it plans to stretch its arms in tier 2 and tier 3 cities to make full use of the raised amount.

Headquartered at California, USA, Oust Lab has invented first-of-its-kind gaming platform which runs on a module called ‘Learning While Playing’. It creates small quizzes of five questions each on various subjects and displays it over the smart phone’s screen. Once the student answers the questions, it instantly displays the results on its leader board. This gives the student a clear picture of where he stands and where he needs to pull his socks in order to crack the examination.

Commenting the system, Shrikant Latkar, Founder, Oust Labs said, “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 centers 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.”

The product is already gaining popularity in cities such as Pune, Belgaum, Hubli , Mysore etc. with the download hits reaching to 5000. Oust has array of questions covering various subjects including Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Biology etc.

Gamified Edtech Startup Oust Raises Seed Round of Funding

Gamified Edtech Startup Oust Raises Seed Round of Funding

February 2, 2016 by Varnana Choudhury

im wire

Edtech startup Oust Labs, has raised seed round of funding from T.V.Mohandas Pai and Aarin Capital. The financial details of the investment have not been disclosed.

Founded by former chief marketing officer of InMobi, Shrikant Latkar, Oust Labs offers a gamified platform that helps students excel in Indian competitive exams. It has been running trials of its app in smaller cities of Karnataka since August last year. The company has presence in California, Bangalore, Belagavi and Pune.

Commenting on the development, Latkar said, “Our goal is to help students to qualify for a better college or job, irrespective of where they are studying right now.”

Oust claims to have a total repository of 125,000 questions across various subjects including physics, chemistry and maths. It also claims that over 7,000 student currently play their short 2-minute quizzes that consist of five questions on various subjects on their mobile devices.

The company advisors include Paulette Altmaier, former head of partnerships at Khan Academy, Gurmeet Lamba, VP of Engineering of Sentient Technologies (an artificial intelligence company) and Venkatesh Venkataraman, entrepreneur and architect who has worked at several startups and large companies including Cisco Systems and Netflix.

Pai, Aarin Capital invest in edtech startup Oust Labs


MUMBAI
 » MUMBAI CAPITAL

MUMBAI, February 2, 2016

Updated: February 2, 2016 05:44 IST

Pai, Aarin Capital invest in edtech startup Oust Labs

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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

“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.”

Gamification

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.

Angle investor

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

Edtech startup Oust Labs receives seed funding from Mohandas Pai

2016 – 13:09 IST

Edtech startup Oust Labs receives seed funding from Mohandas Pai

Aarin Capital also participated in the round.

BY PRIYA PRASAD

vc circle-pic

Oust Labs helps students learn by playing two-minute quizzes

Edtech startup Oust Labs Inc., a platform that helps students prepare for competitive exams using mobile gaming technology, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from former Infosys director T V Mohandas Pai and Aarin Capital.

In an email response to VCCircle, Mohandas Pai said that he invested in the firm because of the startup’s differentiated gamification technology that uses a mix of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Shrikant Latkar, founder of Oust Labs and former chief marketing officer at InMobi, said the funds will be used for product development and marketing. “We are focusing on building a highly engaging platform that can be leveraged by content providers. We are also focused on building a mobile-first product that engages users far deeply in short bursts of time,” he added.

Oust Labs is working with educational institutions such as colleges and tuition centres, where it will offer its commercial services.

The challenge the startup faces is presenting the concept of two-minute, fast paced quizzing to schools and parents. “Mobile learning has just started. Companies that figure out the right models for driving user engagement, especially in tier 2 and 3 cities of India will turn out to be big winners. We aspire to lead in this category,” explained Latkar.

The firm’s technology can be leveraged not only for exam preparation but for job readiness and hiring.

Oust Labs helps students learn maths, science and social sciences topics by playing two-minute quizzes that consist of five questions.

Students can use the platform to prepare for CET, ACT as well as advanced placement (AP) exams.

The company has offices in the US (California) besides Bangalore, Belagavi and Pune.

The edtech space has seen some investment activities in the past few months.

In January 2016, mobile education startup Myly, operated by Jaipur-based EduCommerce Technologies Pvt Ltd. raised $100,000 in seed funding from Newbie Promoter Pvt Ltd.

In November 2015, Evobi Automations, the edtech startup that makes the Bibox tool kit for students, received Rs 3.5 crore ($530,000) in angel investment from Ravi Krishnamurthy, managing director at Bangalore-based roofing solutions company Shadeflex India Pvt Ltd, and an unnamed investor.

In October 2015, Zishaan Hayath’s Toppr.com raised $2 million from InnoVen Capital.

Mohandas Pai, chairman of venture capital firm Aarin Capital and educational and training services provider Manipal Global Education Services, is an active angel investor with a portfolio of over a dozen startups, including self-drive car rental Zoomcar and fitness startup GetActive.

Pai, along with InMobi co-founder Mohit Saxena and other investors, last week seed funded healthcare startup JustDoc.

Tags: Oust Labs Inc. , T V Mohandas Pai , Aarin Asset Advisors LLP , Shrikant Latkar