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.