QMath recently garnered $ 40 million (approximately Rs 300 crore) in funding led by LGT Lightstone, Espada, and Alpha Wave Incubation. The online platform has gained a reputation for being a good source for teaching mathematics and coding to children. The platform is aimed at KG-12th grade students across all school boards spread over more than 10 countries including India, UK, USA, UAE, Singapore, Canada, Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria, Nepal and Bangladesh. The company says that teachers undergo the rigorous tests laid out for the platform, and its mission is to “pave the way for building mathematical thinking in children so that they can become future problem solvers and creative thinkers.”
Since its inception in 2013, Cuemath has grown to more than 8,000 teachers and 1,000 team members. This platform is popular for its unique mathematics teaching system, which helps students to work logically instead of learning mathematics. Current booking of QMath has scored more than three times its FY19 figures.
expert opinion: Ashwin Velodi, partner analyst at Deloitte India, says, “The COVID-19 epidemic has given ‘tech’ an uncompromising focus in any industry like education, constraining it to define a segment of edtech. Education.” Thus in the field, it is excellent to see start-ups and established players with a focus on building innovative ad-tech apps in India. 2020 was the year of survival, and to enable a series of digital technology learning Proved to be an invaluable ally. ”The magnitude of the actual impact, however, will be revealed over the next 24 months. The sector needs to think about what is best to use digital technology to deliver value over the long term. It would be good to stay away from imitating the physical world. Focus on creating amazing experiences that provide value to all stakeholders in the region. The companies that will be thrilled are those who are agile enough to replace the ex-Pandey, innovate and create experiences, mic systems and infrastructure, and teaching methodology. “
We talked Manan Kaki, CEO and Founder of Cuemath To know a little more about the company’s success story, how it survived the epidemic and its future plans.
1. What were you doing before Qimath?
Mathematics has been a big part of my life since I was a child. While doing BTech at IIT Delhi, I started teaching mathematics as a side project. What began as a way to make extra pocket money became a full-time coaching class. This was the beginning of Locus Education, where we prepared students to take IIT admission. In addition, I wrote textbooks and consulted for the Haryana government.
2. What was the initial concept process behind QMath? When did you first talk of starting this startup?
My love for mathematics and teaching were the two main catalysts for Cuemath. While lecturing senior grade students at Locus, I realized that most of the students struggled with mathematics despite my best teaching efforts. The reason for this was a weak foundation. Even though the test presentation is very attractive, I felt that it was too late to make an impact.
3. When did it happen that you finally decided that you wanted to start Qumeth? Please explain in detail a scenario that reinforces your intention to work towards making QMath a reality.
In order to make a fundamental impact in teaching mathematics, it had to be reduced rather than higher grades. After teaching 10000+ students, I realized that if a student struggles with calculus in 11th grade, it stands to reason that he has not mastered algebra in 8th grade. To address this, I decided to create a math learning system based on mastery. At that time no other educational system was addressing this problem.
4. Expand a little about QMath. Business details, unique service offering, who owns it, what your growth rate is like last year, etc.
QMath offers online after-school math and coding classes worldwide. These are live classes by our trained teachers. In addition, our AI-powered platform enables every child to learn at their own pace. Among other things, our unique methodology focuses on making students work logically rather than learning mathematics. We have been supported by such investors and have seen our current bookings exceeding 3X FY19 figures.
5. How is Cuemath different from other ad-tech startups in India?
I strongly believe that mathematics and coding is a core life skill that can empower children to be future problem solvers and thinkers. Cuemath focuses on completion mastery. For example, most children learn multiplication by memorization. But at QMath, we teach our students that multiplication is repeated, not something else. Mathematics is the language of thinking and problem solving.
6. What is your recruitment process for teachers? What is the unique selling point of Cuemath?
Our training is very rigorous, only three percent of teachers are qualified. Applicants are shortlisted based on their qualifications, passion for teaching and entrepreneurial drive. QMath teachers are not only tested on subject expertise and communication on camera, but also their ability to personalize and empathize with parents and children.
7. Were there any operational challenges (or any other challenges) that you faced while starting Cuemath? Please inform our readers what those challenges were and how you overcame them.
The idea of Qimath’s mastery was ahead of his time and therefore he needed to explain a lot in the beginning. Naturally, parents were more concerned with the immediate outcome through the scars. As parents saw an improvement in their child’s math ability, we had more and more believers.
8. Do you need to invest any money to start a business? When did you decide that money was needed?
My father and I initially invested in our savings. When we ran out, we had to be furious on all fronts without losing our focus on making an impressive product.
9. Can you share some interesting stories about your early days? What did you learn during those commotion days?
In the first 100 days, I was doing everything from course design to onboarding teachers. I still remember the first teacher I met. It was in Gurugram. We drank a cup of tea. And 80 percent of that conversation was about convincing him that Qumeth’s offer was not a scam. Those opening days were challenging and exciting at the same time. It is necessary to be flexible in such times.
10. Are there any special events that commemorate the journey to Qometh? Please share that event with our readers. In addition, all the major milestones have been outlined by QMath from the beginning.
I remember a 5th grade kid who was struggling with mathematics. But after enrolling in QMath, he showed unprecedented improvement. Her mother was smiling with pride when she told me about her son’s latest performance. This was the first time our method was validated and provided a measurable result.
11. Can you help us understand how far Qumeth has come? Since when is it now
We have come a long way since the beginning of our journey in December 2013. QMath is STEM certified and has been awarded as the Best Mathematics Program by ETR. We have taught over 200,000 students and taught over 25 million hours in 20+ countries. Coincidentally, the epidemic resulted in unprecedented growth. We tripled our 2019 numbers. With significant growth from overseas markets such as the United States.
International students now constitute more than a quarter of our total learners on stage. Not only that, we have recently closed a successful C C funding ($ 40 million). We are now supported by Lightstone Espada and Alpha Wave Incubation and Sequoia Capital India, Capital G (formerly Google Capital) and Manta Ray.
12. Has there ever been any failure or challenges? Please provide details about this and how you completed it.
When Kovid was killed, we were mainly working offline. We did the arduous job of repelling our 4000+ teachers within a few days to adapt to our online platform. But we were agile enough to make a smooth transition. This change has kept us in good shape and has taken the brand globally.
13. What was it like sailing through the COVID-19 crisis? Did you see a drop in business or an unexpected boom? How did you deal with it?
Our first concern in these testing times was our employee safety. COVID not only forced us to move online but also opened up new geographies. We adapted for this development. QMath not only survived but flourished. The biggest realization for me has been that an organization can not only work but can work remotely!
14. Do you have any management mantra / advice that you would like to share with future entrepreneurs?
“When you place your head in the sky and aim high, put your feet firmly on the ground realities.” Three things come to mind: understanding the fundamentals of the business, focusing on the consumer, and building a great team.
15. What are the big plans for the future?
We strongly aspire to be the definitive global math brand of this generation. We want to create millions of solutions to future problems. Mathematics and allied education skills such as coding and data science are the future – this is where we want to be global leaders.
16. What is the employee’s strength? Currently have qumath hiring?
M: We currently have 8,000+ teachers and 1000 team members on our rolls. And yes, we are hiring! We at Cuemath are looking for exceptional talent.
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