Gray Matters Capital, a US-based impact investor with a gender lens focused on funding enterprises working to improve access to affordable quality education and employability in India, and empowering 100 million women and girls with a purposeful life through education by 2036, has today announced the names of the start-ups, which have made it to the second cohort of its GMC Calibrator Program.
The GMC Calibrator is a Digital Self-Learning to Earning Accelerator launched by Gray Matters Capital in April 2018 with an aim to make the mobile phone a device to promote ‘Self Learning to Earning’ by improving user engagement, monetization and optimization of mobile learning platforms. This is done by understanding and implementing the principles of behavioural science and data driven decision making.
Six start-ups from India and three start-ups from Kenya, Sierra Leone and Vietnam have made it to the second cohort of the program commencing with immersion days from 13th March, 2019 in Bengaluru.
The choice of the enterprises making it to the cohort is indicative of a diversification of the Accelerator Program’s focus from pure-play EdTech to also include enterprises in the skilling, livelihoods and peer-to-peer learning space.
Announcing the names of the start-ups in GMC Calibrator’s March 2019 cohort, Ragini Chaudhary, India CEO, Gray Matters Capital said, “We welcome our new cohort members to the Gray Matters Capital fold and see them align with our program mission of empowering 5 million women and girls through their digital platforms by 2020. We launched the GMC Calibrator last year to help edtech enterprises in India solve key challenges they faced related to user engagement. This year, we have taken the program global, as the same set of challenges are being faced by companies in other countries having similar demographics, mobile penetration and the need to bridge gender and learning gaps besides upskilling for jobs.”
The start-ups were selected by an panel of eminent jury members comprising NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh; Sanjeev Bikhchandani, Co-Founder, Info Edge India Ltd; Digvijay Singh, COO, Indian Angel Network, Anirudh Khusape, COO, Jiogennext and Abhinav Mathur, Founder, Million Sparks Foundation.
Start-ups from India | GMC Calibrator Mar’19 Cohort
Start-ups from India | GMC Calibrator Mar’19 Cohort
|Social Enterprise||Enterprise Overview|
|Dcoder||Dcoder is a cloud powered IDE (online compiler) for programmers to code on mobile and tablets, enabling them to code on-the-go and compete with fellow coders in the community on algorithm based challenges in more than 35 programming languages. This Jaipur based start-up founded by Ankush Chugh has 1.2 million strong global community of coders.|
|InnerHour||With a team of expert psychologists, software developers and experienced healthcare management professionals; this Mumbai based start-up trains therapists to deliver emotional and psychological well-being for its clients through its online platform and app. Founded by Dr. Amit Malik and Dr. Shefali Batra, InnerHour is addressing the growing need for mental wellness in India.|
|Lal10||Noida based Lal10 bridges rural artisans with global markets by empowering them with mobile technology, introducing them to contemporary designs and infusing them with requisite skills to make their crafts sell in these markets. Founded by Maneet Gohil, Sanchit Govil and Albin Jose, Lal10 not just helps artisans earn better by removing the middleman, but also facilitates their skill development and participation in exhibitions; making them lead a life of respect.|
|Matrubharti||Matrubharti is a vernacular content community platform founded by IT engineers Mahendra Sharma and Nilesh Shah, for readers and writers in Indian languages such as Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi, besides English. This Ahmedabad based enterprise helps its community gain access to novels, and books in paperback as well as ebooks. Users can also get access to quotes for WhatsApp status updates and trending videos in regional languages.|
|Quest Alliance||Quest Alliance is a Bengaluru based not-for-profit trust that equips young people with 21st century skills by enabling self-learning through digital modes. It designs scalable solutions that enable educators to address critical gaps for quality education and skills training. The organization founded by Aakash Sethi also conducts teacher training programmes in schools wherein the teachers are taught to focus on themselves and make students active learners.|
|Skipy||Skipy is a creative play kit aimed at building foundational skills in children based on Mixed Reality that bridges the gap between the real world and the virtual world. Founded by Ajay Das, this Bengaluru based start-up gives a child the sensory feeling of drawing on a paper along with rich and variable digital content into a single experience that is fun, entertaining and Informative.|
Start-ups from other Countries | GMC Calibrator Mar’19 Cohort
|Social Enterprise||Country of Origin||Enterprise Overview|
|Edmicro||Vietnam||Edmicro is one of the leading ed-tech platforms in Vietnam, founded by Que Nguyen and Dang Bao Linh. It was built with the vision of creating a smart self-learning ecosystem for the Vietnamese students called Onluyen.vn, that adapts to the needs of every learner and allowing them to learn, practice and master the subjects being taught in their classrooms.|
|Mosabi||Sierra Leone||Mosabi is the confluence of EdTech and FinTech as it creates localized animated content focused on financial inclusion for the underserved and connects them to financial service providers (FSPs) through its Android app designed for low-bandwidth settings. This mobile learning platform creates an alternative credit score for its users through the data collected through the education offered. Leveraging its strong partnerships with financial institutions, Mosabi users concurrently get easier access to financial products. Mosabi was founded in 2016 as InvestED by Chris Czerwonka, Julie Manniot-Gaillis, Kayee Au, Dan Frost and John Roberts and currently operates in Ghana, Liberia and Senegal.|
|Mums Village||Kenya||Mums Village is the leading parenting website for resources, support and expert advice in Kenya. Its co-founders – Isis Nyongo and Delauno Hinson, created it as a home for Kenyan Mums to freely express themselves among a community of doulas, doctors, nutritionists, fitness experts and fellow parents. Through it’s peer-to-peer communities, it enables mothers to access and share locally relevant content and products. It aims to launch its e-commerce platform to support its existing community.|
The first cohort of the program had start-ups from the domains of Test Prep for Government jobs (MadGuy Labs and Sarkari Pariksha), Teacher Capacity Building (Meghshala and Million Sparks Foundation), Vocational Training / Upskilling (Laqsh Job Skills Academy and Multibhashi) and English Education (OckyPocky and Stones2Milestones).
“From an engagement point of view, we saw impact on the lines of 30% increase in monthly retention and 20% increase in revenue for every cohort member. Three companies of the cohort raised funding during the 6 month engagement while two made it to Google Launchpad and Reliance’s Jio GenNext Accelerator. We are confident of calibrating more such success stories with our March 2019 cohort”, said Omkar Kulkarni, Program Head, GMC Calibrator.
Behavioural architecture firm Final Mile and Mobile network optimization specialists Fastah are the knowledge partners of the program, with Indian Angel Network as investment partner and Amazon’s AWS Activate as Technology partner. CL Educate is the user testing partner for the GMC Calibrator.