Memos from Asia

WhiteHat Jr. : An Indian Edtech Startup Teaching Kids Coding

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Computers have changed the world in a short period of time. People have started questioning the school curriculums for not covering coding for young children. Indian startup White Hat Jr is answering all the questions with their online classes.

The Platform

White Hat Jr is a brainchild of its founder and CEO, Karan Bajaj. Karan, the former Discovery Networks CEO, believes that kids have huge potential and grasp coding more naturally than the earlier generations.

This edtech startup targets school-going kids between the age of 6-18. The online platform teaches kids the basics of coding-logic, structure, sequence, and algorithmic thinking to eventually help them create their own animations and apps.

The tutors are selected through a 4-stage screening process, and the company says, only the top 0.1% of Early Kids Coding Experts are chosen.

Experts teach the kids one-on-one, and the platform has found this method quite effective. Each class lasts an hour and offers kids an interactive experience.

Children learn all the important concepts for creating an app like coding logic, user interface development, and back-end data structures, in just 40 hours. The startup also teaches text-based programming language to kids based on their level.

Some might even be invited to the Silicon Valley Program run by White Hat Jr, winners of which get a chance to pitch their ideas at Silicon Valley and meet entrepreneurs. The first batch of winners is ready to visit Silicon Valley this year.

Success On Business Front As Well

With a wide range of courses for all levels of learners that start from less than $10 per class, White Hat Jr has turned into a success story in less than two years. The subscription fee-based revenue model generated $40 million, with 30-40% MoM growth.

White Hat Jr has made significant progress amid COVID-19 pandemic as learning from home became the new normal. Over 5000 teachers have been onboarded, and with demand increasing every day, the management is hiring aggressively.

It has found a great response from consumers in India compared to other edtech startups with less than a 3% refund rate. The platform has managed to reach even Tier-II cities, as about 50% of subscribers are now from non-metro cities.

With the US market being served since earlier this year, the startup has plans to expand around the world ahead.

The acquisition

On August 5, it was announced that Indian edtech giant Byju’s had acquired White Hat Jr for a massive $300 million. The young startup’s exit is being called unprecedented and the biggest exit ever in India.

For now, the startup will work as a separate entity, according to the new owners at Byju’s.

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