Exclusive: School admissions platform Just Dakhila raises $750K
New Delhi-based Justdakhila.com, an online platform that connects parents and schools for student admissions, has secured Rs 5 crore (around $750,000) in seed funding from Orange Planet LLP's Ankur Gupta. The startup expects to use the funding to enhance its analytics technology and expand operations.
The technology-based platform, that allows parents to search and compare schools, and then apply for admissions, is set to launch its operations from January 9.
Just Dakhila will first cover schools in the Delhi region, where the annual admission process has just started, and will later expand its operations to other cities.
Gupta was group director of New Saraswati House (I) Pvt Ltd for 10 years. The firm was later acquired by S Chand Group of Publications. "Out of the money received from the New Saraswati sale, I am investing Rs 5 crore in JustDakhila," Gupta told Techcircle.in.
Gupta also comes in as co-founder of Just Dakhila.
"The current landscape of Indian demographics pulled me to invest in the concept of aggregating the parents and schools ecosystem. I've got 15 years of experience in the education sector, and I see lot of potential in Just Dakhila," he added.
Easy Analytics Pvt Ltd, which owns Just Dakhila, was founded in 2014 by Kapil Mittal. Mittal has over 10 years of experience in the ed-tech space. He has worked with major ed-tech startups including Educomp Learning Hour Pvt Ltd and Eduwizards serving at mid and senior level management.
"We will launch a pilot programme in January for Delhi. By January 2017, we plan to have operations in15 cities including, Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Chandigarh," Mittal said.
Just Dakhila already has 750 schools in the Delhi-NCR region on its platform. It expects to have 5000-6000 schools on its platform in the next 12 months which it will segregate into three categories on the basis of fees.
So far, 500 parents have already registered on the platform, and 400 have availed Just Dakhila's parent assistance services.
The company hopes to achieve a revenue of Rs 50 crore in 2017.
How it works
Just Dakhila will include education institutions across the board â€“ play schools, primary schools, and secondary schools. Parents will be able to search and compare schools on the basis of fees, amenities, infrastructure, and other parameters. Parents can make a 'favourite school' cart on the platform and apply to all selected schools at one-go. Just Dakhila will also have a call centre that will offer assistance services to parents. Parents can select any of three packages worth Rs 5000, Rs 10,000 and Rs 15000 and avail services that will include access to brochures of multiple schools, parent assistance services, and others.
The startup has also launched a platform for schools called School Advantage.in that will also act as a backend interface of Just Dakhila. The cloud-based platform will allow schools to come in, sign up and fill in the details. After filing the details, they need to publish the website, then a sub-domain will be created and their website and an Android app will go live.
"Our major revenue channel will come from School Advantage, and we will be able to generate users from Just Dakhila," Mittal said.
"School Advantage will work on the Zomato model where we will charge schools for services such as showing them on top, giving them website builder, notifier, and lot of other things. We are charging them Rs 4000-15000 on an annual basis," said Gupta.
Raising another round
Just Dakhila is also looking to dilute 20 per cent stake in the venture by April. Gupta added he is in talks with Kotak Wealth Management, Edelweiss Financial Services and startup incubator Pad Up Ventures. "We are just waiting for the launch. We expect to raise Rs 20 crore to expand to the next 15 cities," he added.
Just Dakhila is currently a team of 15 people â€“ eight in technology and seven in sales and operations. March 2016 onward, it plans to ramp up its operations and technology team, and take the total headcount to 45-55 people by January 2017.
In the school search and compare domain, there are players such as SchoolKhojo.in -- a platform founded by Madhurie Singh that helps parents search, compare, review, and find schools, and Delhi NCR-based AdmissionsNursery.com, which lists schools on its platform and shares fee details to help parents take decisions related to child admissions, among others.
Just Dakhila claims to be different in that it actually facilitates applying to schools. "We don't see any direct rival as of now, but we do expect a couple of players to jump into this space. However, we will have a first mover advantage in this domain," Mittal added.