While most startups in the e-learning space are concentrated on the K-12 education, Pune-based Function Space is a social network for learning science online through articles, video lectures, problem solving, discussions and networking. Science forms at least 35 per cent of the e-learning space and is its fastest growing sub segment, according to Function Space's co-founder Sumit Maniyar.
The company aims at creating a global learning network for higher science, mathematics and computer science through a social site. It is not course-centric but focuses on life time learning. The LaTeX integrated platform also has a learning mechanism system for personalisation, interactive visualisation and book reviews. The idea is to create a complete ecosystem from discussing, learning and networking for higher science online with students/professors from MIT, Stanford, Princeton, Caltech, Cornell, Berkeley, UCLA, IITs, IISc, and various other prestigious universities.
The founders are now launching a forum for finding curated answers via a technology that identifies the correct answer for any science-related question. Besides, launch of an iOS app is also on the cards. The membership for the portal is free, and while the company has not yet been able to monetise the site, it is planning to generate revenues through advertisements.
Function Space was founded in April 2013 by the trio of Adit Gupta, Sakshi Majmudar and Maniyar. It claims to be receiving over a lakh unique monthly visitors and is witnessing discussions on about 2,000 topics from mainly premier universities across the world. While most of the traffic comes from the US, Maniyar mentions that they have users from 190 countries, including students, professors and researchers.
In total, the firm has 15 employees. Gupta had previously worked at Sourcebits LLC and Verchaska Infotech, while Sakshi had worked at TCS and InfoBeans. Maniyar had worked at Religare and JP Morgan prior to setting up the e-learning venture.
Speaking on the rationale behind launching this, Gupta said, "In today's knowledge economy and globally-local society of ours, we use the internet to look up for answers on any query under the sun that may come to our mind. While search engines answer most of our learning or work related queries, but with so much of user-generated content clogging the world wide web, authenticity and credibility of information available and the factuality of data and statistics are a constant cause of worry."
Function Space had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Nexus in December last year. While the founders refused to disclose the details, they confirmed that the funds will get exhausted in a year when they will start looking for the next round of funding.