Wednesday 28 January 2015

Online Education Portal Collegedunia Secures $150,000 in Angel Funding, Looks to Expand Verticals

The education goto site Collegedunia set to expand after securing Rs.1.00 crore in Angel funding

Ever faced in a situation when you needed to get information about colleges and found yourself stumped? Maybe it was a friend, a peer, a teen from your neighbourhood or maybe your own relative who asked you for help and you did not know how to help them. Education counselling or college information was not available to everyone save a elite few.  Sahil Chalana realised this gap in information and moved to fill it with his startup Collegedunia. 

Online Education Portal Collegedunia Secures $150,000 in Angel Funding, Looks to Expand Verticals

The Process

Sahil Chalana graduated from BITS Pilani in 2010 and started an education forms company titled getmyform.in that, unfortunately did not work out so he and his Co-founder parted ways. He took this as a learning lesson of life. At the same time he noticed the huge gap in the information demanded by students and the information available in the public domain.

As said above, the updates and news provided by colleges spread across India was scattered far and wide. Students desperately needed this information, especially during the pre-admission season which saw them running from pillar to post and at times making decisions with half information which may affect their future careers. Sahil decided to start CollegeDunia which collated all the information students needed at one common website.  Thus came into being the goto website for college students and knowledge resource.

They started it as an education classifieds and focussed on the smaller details like fests and hostels. These seem to be relatively minor information and for this very reason is not available anywhere. These small bits of information also make a huge difference to students before choosing the right college for themselves. The focus on the finer details lead them onto the path of success. And according to venture capital tracking website, VC Circle, Collegedunia managed to secure a fund raise of INR 1.00 crore from Gaadi.com’s CEO Umang Kumar, affiliate marketing company 3.14 Digital, and a few undisclosed investors. 

The Journey

Although, they were not creating a completely new market but they were indeed heading into a niche were right information was power. Also, they were heading into a territory with a sizeable competition with the likes of  Pagalguy.com, Jagranjosh, Careers360 already hitting success. Sahil though notes that none of them focus on curating content from colleges. 
“We go at great lengths to get our users the most detailed information which differentiates us from our competitors. One of the biggest learning I had from all this was that ventures fail but people who persist don’t,” says Sahil.
The graph of the company has since been in an upward spiral, whether it has been in revenue, team size or pace of working. They have grown so fast that they have had to move into a new office at Prashant Vihar, New Delhi with their team size increasing from 5 to 50. They have a team of 20 for content curating and editing, 17 for customer support, five handling technology, and four into marketing. The plan is to hire more people for marketing and design.

Collegedunia currently has information of approximately 15,000 colleges and exams like CAT, MAT, GMAT, GATE, etc. With external funds coming in, they are planning to expand their reach to 30,000 colleges and cover all the entrance exams happening in India by the end of this year, a very ambitious goal to achieve. 

Another Venture Capital tracking website, Your Story says that "Their success can be gauge from the fact that they had already crossed 1 million page views per month landmark in December 2014. Sounds high to us, but is low compared to the competition they are up against. On the other hand, the majority of these page views are by users accessing the site directly, which gives them the edge over competition." 

All in all, this startup story has been one of success and growth. It'll be an interesting story one to follow.

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