Professionals looking to set up e-learning businesses quickly are flocking to startups like Knorish and Invanto, and earning big money in the process.
Yoga trainers, wine connoisseurs, primary school teachers, digital marketers, cybersecurity experts and business management grads are all looking to the startups to build personalised websites so that they impart skillsets through paid video content.
Software as a Service startup Knorish, launched in 2018, has built e-learning businesses for 4,500 creators in the last four months, after onboarding just 500 customers till March.
“These creators upload recorded videos or take live sessions on their personalised websites that we build for them,” Kinner N Sacchdev, CEO and co-founder of Knorish, told ET.
Knorish has worked with around 150 yoga trainers as well as helped nutritionists, school tutors and coders, Sacchdev added.
“We recently also got a call from a fisherman in Andhra Pradesh who wants to teach fishing online,” he said. These video courses go on for as little as 30 minutes and up to 20 hours.
Invanto, which was founded in 2017, has onboarded 50,000 such professionals, from the 10,000 it had in February.
These platforms, apart from building websites for these content creators, also train them on how to grow a business, provide customisation and course development, community forums for peers, and tracking tools.
“We have also started a marketplace called GradHut in April, just for the Indian market where they can sell their courses,” said Deep Arrora, founder and CEO of Invanto.
“Indians were not ready to experiment with this model till now, but after the Covid-19 outbreak, things have drastically changed. E-learning has become the new trend that everyone is looking up to,” he said.
These specialised content creators have been able to earn between Rs 10,000 and Rs 40 lakh a month after building their own websites through these platforms. About 20% of the creators who have the experience of scaling businesses earn Rs 40-70 lakh in a month, while the beginners earn Rs 1-5 lakh on Invanto.
“A few among these creators also make in crores,” Arrora said.
The difference in earnings depend on their selling capabilities, course quality and reach, the experts said.
One-fourth of Invanto’s creators are from India, while on Knorish it is as high as 95%.
These businesses get traction from the United States, Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Australia and Africa.
US-based Udemy, an open marketplace for online courses, has also seen 200% growth in courses and double-digit growth in Indian instructors since March this year.
Most of the creators are entrepreneurs, academicians, young students, and professionals.
“Unlike before, non-academic markets such as choreography, photography are also gaining traction at a rapid pace now,” said Arrora of Invanto.
Launching these classes takes around 1-4 weeks, but if courses are ready, it takes just a few hours to upload them online and start selling.
Roshni Dhal, who built her website HighOnM on Invanto, sells marketing courses online. Through these courses, she has earned up to Rs 30 lakh a month for more than a year now.
“Due to Covid-19, people are now forced to set up an online presence, which has led to an exponential growth in the digital learning sector. Offline businesses, too, want to start online now,” Dhal said.
Twenty-five-year-old Gautam Kumawat from Rajasthan has been creating online courses through Invanto on cybersecurity since 2018. His business has grown 10 times since March this year, he said.
Kumawat has been making Rs 40 lakh each month through the courses, of which he invests Rs 4 lakh monthly on digital marketing.
Another creator, Gyansheel Kumar, started teaching coding through Telegram and Zoom a month ago. He plans to start his website by August.
“I started teaching through TikTok first, then seeing the demand, I launched my Telegram channel. I have around 160 students now and am charging Rs 300 per student to maintain the Zoom subscriptions and other costs,” Kumar said.
These creators, however, do not view creators on YouTube as competition even as the Google-owned videos platform is well known for educational content.
Geeta Malik earned over Rs 1 lakh within a week by creating a cookery course through her website EnrichmentAcademy.in through Knorish.
Her website says: “These are NOT typical YouTube videos but a thoughtfully designed course to enhance your cooking skills with personalised WhatsApp and phone support for you to make great progress. Think of it as the difference between watching a movie and joining an acting school if you want to become a film actor.”
Sacchdev of Knorish said creators use YouTube to drive organic traffic to their websites.
“Monetisation on YouTube becomes feasible on YouTube only if you are a top creator or a celebrity. For a beginner, monetising on YouTube is difficult with hardly any followers,” he added.