WhiteHat Jr. is an ed-tech company based in India that offers 1:1 live video coding classes for 6–14-year-olds. It was founded in November 2018 and was acquired by Byju’s, a leading ed-tech company, in August 2020 for $300 million.
WhiteHat Jr. is founded by Karan Bajaj, bestselling author and ex-CEO of Discovery Networks India. Karan says the company was formed to solve the #1 problem in global school education – lack of focus on coding skills. Karan says: “I observed a complete mismatch between the skills required in the new world and the curriculum taught in schools. 60% of the jobs won’t exist in 7 years. 95% of the jobs will be impacted by automation. The objective is to make kids creators and not just customers of technology, to make them the 5% who give orders to machines versus the 95% who take orders from the machine. In fact, 92% of the WhiteHat Jr. kids create Playstore ready apps.”
The average price per session ranges from Rs. 600 to 750, and courses cost anywhere from Rs. 5999 to Rs. 179,999. WhiteHat Jr. plans to have more than 20,000 teachers before the end of 2020 to meet the demands of India, the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand[i]. It is adding teachers at a frantic pace of 220 teachers a day. As of August 2020, the platform had 84% of the teachers under the age of 35 who teach coding from their homes’ comfort. The students are provided with the flexibility to choose the language of instruction. The platform has created opportunities for thousands of teachers across India to earn anywhere between Rs. 50,000 and Rs. 1,50,000 per month.
WhiteHat Jr. adopted very effective digital marketing strategies, TV, social media, and celebrity endorsements to generate leads and interest amongst parents. 50% of the ad spend is on TV ads targeted at the mass market. WhiteHat Jr. had a seed investment of $1.3 million from Nexus Venture Partners and Omidyar Network and further raised $10 million in funding in September 2019 from US-based Owl Ventures. WhiteHat Jr. reported a $40 million revenue within the first year and is growing at a steep rate of 60–100% on a month-on-month basis. Tier-1 and Tier-2 towns contribute 50% of the customers.
The parents are the primary customers, whereas kids are the customers of the solutions. WhiteHat Jr. was very effective in providing solutions that were aligned to the following beliefs of parents:
A. The world is competitive. Our kids need the skills that will help them secure jobs in the future.
B. Automation is influencing all kinds of businesses, programming skills are a must-have skill, and it is better to start early.
C. If my kid does not learn coding skills, there is fear that he or she will be left behind.
Enabling beliefs are value catalysts that help customers make decisions in favour of adopting solutions.
[i] Indo-Asian News Service (2020). Backed by Byju’s, WhiteHat Jr adds 220 teachers per day on its platform [Online]. Business Insider, 2 Sep, 2020. Accessed from: https://www.businessinsider.in/business/startups/news/backed-by-byjus-whitehat-jr-is-adding-220-teachers-per-day-on-its-platform/articleshow/77889450.cms [11 Oct 2020]