Indian Angel Network today announced an Angel/seed round in Nagpur Based Startup RankJunction.com. Founded by husband and wife duo, Sameer and Rashmi Gautam, the company is in the space of providing online preparatory exams to students looking to take up competitive exams.
This round is lead by Mr. Ravi Kiran and Jay Chopde, on behalf of IAN. Singapore based Gitpx was also a part of this round. The size of the investment was not disclosed; the IAN spokesperson reported it to be under a million USD.
A very large market and a proof of concept
Sameer believes that RankJunction is targeting a very pertinent problem in the education space. He says, “Many students have a big difference in the marks they get and the marks they expect. It is neither the students fault nor the coaching centers fault, as both work hard towards getting the best grade. The problem lies in writing a good preparatory exam; a mock test, which will give you a good understanding of how well they’ve prepared and RankJunction is aiming to be that. ”
To validate this, they ran a mock exam of medical PG examinations and most of the toppers in the mock test were toppers in the actual exam as well. He further shared, “With the concept now proved, we are now looking to cover a comprehensive list of comprehensive exams.”
RankJunction charges candidates a fee to take up the mock test. With a total of 1.5 crore Indian students taking up competitive exams every year, Sameer believes this to be a large market.
The investors view point
Investor Ravi Kiran termed this investment decision as a perfect one. He said, “Firstly, there is a very large opportunity in the Indian education space and RankJunction has really identified a very key pain point. Sameer and his wife have a rich experience from their collective corporate and entrepreneurial ventures. They’ve invested a significant amount of their money into this venture, showing great commitment to the business.” Furthermore, Ravi believes that the regulations are in favor of this business as more exams are going online and RankJunction has shown great traction.
When asked about the support that the board members would be bringing to the table, he said, “Jay Chopde, the other investor, comes with great entrepreneurial and technical knowledge. I on the other hand have some experience in marketing and branding, I hope to extend some support in that area.”
In the future, Sameer shared that RankJunction will be looking to cover as many as 60 competitive exams and achieve a turn over of 200 Crore INR. “Our vision for RankJunction is to become the largest platform for mock exams,” he shared.
He also shared that the company isn’t looking to get into the training space as the questions for the tests are set by a panel of experts who are already in the training business. “Rather than competing with them, we’re looking to work with them.” He did however, share that getting these experts on board is a challenge.
An interesting trend that Sameer revealed is that a lot of the RankJunction users take exams on mobile phone and having a strong mobile presence is an integral part of their business strategy. He said, “I think there are a lot more people using internet on mobiles, rather than on desktops and we have seen this trend in our users as well.”
Global Businesses out of Tier 2 cities
The involvement of Gitpx is a good sign for RankJunction. Sameer had shared that the site engages users from as many as 80 countries, by which it has shown potential to scale globally. An IAN spokesperson shared that Gitpx’s involvement is to nurture these tier 2 city businesses into global companies and IAN is making this effort to know more about these companies quietly tucked away in these small cities.
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