Rakesh Kumar and Vivek Pandey completed their Electrical Engineering from IIT BHU, Varanasi, after which Rakesh completed his MBA from IIM-A. The latter has over 15 years of industry experience in business strategy and implementation, with giants like Accenture, Oracle Financial Services and CGI both in India and abroad. Vivek brings 13 years of software experience, he was associated with companies like Hughes and Microsoft’s Research and Development division. He even founded a startup called SlateWire and holds a joint patent with Freescale.
The duo collaborated to start Experifun, a Bangalore-based startup in May 2013. A chance meeting with an IIM-A professor, where a discussion on a simple engineering question couldn’t be answered by either of the two led them to the realisation that despite being alumni of top schools in the country, they could not recollect basic concepts. This is how Experifun originated–a place where students could explore, visualise and be fascinated by the concepts of science.
Experifun concentrates on students from Class VI to Class X for whom they design and develop curriculum-based exploratory gadgets wherein they learn engaging concepts in science with real objects and exercises in real time. The product also possesses the ability to be developed from scratch. In fact, Experifun’s product line is designed in a manner that even rural and tribal schools can easily use as well as afford it. One of its offerings is inClass, a collection of innovative gadgets and products that allow students to explore science concepts as well as allow teachers to explain them in an engaging and fun way. inClass offers a suite of gadgets, teacher-training, lesson plan, one-year support and warranty, a user manual, activity video and co-branding with schools.
Experifun charges a one-time fee of `65,000, which includes five copies of each product allowing five groups in a class to explore the same topic together. A new product, Computer Express, which is an end-to-end curriculum programme, has been designed to teach computer science to students. The low cost product doesn’t require a lab setup.
Aiming to reach 500 schools by next year, as of now they have close to 100 schools spread across 10 states in India and a few schools abroad too. The company aims to foray into retail sector with its game-based learning products. “Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (UK-based Pearson fund) and Village Capital (US-based social fund) have invested in Experifun,” says Rakesh.
Having started with a capital of `40 lakh, the founders predict they will break even by the end of the year. “We aspire to be the Apple of the Education industry,” adds Vivek.