Oust Labs, an edtech startup whose gamified platform helps students excel in competitive exams, announced today that it has raised an undisclosed amount of seed capital from T.V Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education Services and Aarin Capital. Pai is also a Former Infosys director.
Oust was founded by Shrikant Latkar (originally from Belagavi)in Cupertino, California and has been doing extensive trials of its Oust App (available on Google Play Store) in smaller cities of Karnataka since Aug 2015.
Shrikant Latkar, has created an app, Oust, for students to practice the entrance test to professional courses in the state, and assess how they rank against their classmates with his maiden venture.
Latkar completed his schooling from St. Pauls, then did his engineering from Gogte Institute of Technology and then did MBA from Santa Clara University. He has been in the USA now for the last 15 years and previously was the CMO of InMobi.
Oust is leveraging the growing amount of time spent on their mobile devices to rollout a collaborative and competitive learning mobile-firstsolution – one that builds upon existing student behavior to deliver a natural fit. Oust aims to make exam prep fun for students by infusing friendly competition with peers and other like-minded individuals who have similar aspirations. Students play short 2 minute quizzes that consist of 5 questions on various subjects on their mobile devices. Students can instantly track their performance on real time leaderboards and see where they stand.
“Online education is helping our students better prepare to excel in the knowledge-driven economy. While the challenge of delivering relevant and high-quality online content is being solved by a number of very promising ventures all over the world, there exists a larger fundamental challenge to engage and retain students’ attention on a constantly evolving paradigm of mobile and social. Oust is bringing about real innovation by studying the evolution of students’ learning behavior and building new value propositions that they can relate to. This includes the many forms of gamification and competitive challenges, cooperative knowledge discovery and sharing, and collaborative learning across local, state and national contexts. That is a very impressive vision, and I am glad to be a part of such an undertaking”, said Mr. T.V. Mohandas Pai.
The company counts several renowned Bay Area personalities as advisors, including, Mrs. Paulette Altmaier, EdTech Executive who previously was Head of Partnerships at Khan Academy, Mr. Gurmeet Lamba, a silicon valley veteran and VP of Engineering of Sentient Technologies (an AI company) and Mr. Venkatesh Venkataraman, entrepreneur and architect who has worked at several startups and large companies including Cisco Systems and Netflix.
“We tested our first version of the product with high school students last year. Based on their feedback, we completely re-architected our product to address their needs, so that students in smaller towns can seamlessly compete with students in larger metro cities and see where they stand. Several colleges, tuition centers and teachers are already using the product with their students and the feedback has been phenomenal. By making it easy for students to challenge peers in classes and other social contexts, we are able to engage students deeply in short bursts of time”, said Shrikant Latkar, Founder and CEO of Oust Labs.
Oust has a total repository of 1.25 Lakh questions across Physics, Chemistry, Maths, and Biology subjects, all curated by teachers and neatly organized into modules so that students can focus on their key areas of improvement. For PUC I and II, Oust has more than 30,000+ FREE Multiple Choice Questions (including past question papers) for the Karnataka Common Entrance Examination. The product is also available for CBSE, AIPMT, COMEDK and Maharashtra CET exams.
The company has presence in California, Bangalore, Belagavi and Pune. Oust is currently available on Android and can be downloaded from Google Play Store. Students can also try the app on the http://oustme.com/
About T.V. Mohandas Pai
Mr. T.V. Mohandas Pai is a Padma Shri Awardee and former CFO and Board Member at Infosys. He is also the co- founder of Akshaya Patra, the world’s largest midday meal program, and works actively with government and regulators on policy recommendations and guidelines. He has emerged as one of India’s most prolific angel investors. Mr. Pai has invested in over three dozen young tech companies including online media company YourStory,peer-to-peer lending platform Faircent, and vernacular language-driven exam preparation venture OnlineTyari.com. He also runs a private equity fund Aarin Capital along with Manipal Group scion, Ranjan Pai that invests in life sciences and education start-ups.
About Aarin Capital Partners
Aarin Capital Partners seeks to create long-term value by partnering with talented, driven management teams actively complementing their skills with Aarin’s collaborative engagement. Aarin aims to build profitable companies with sustainable value propositions. Aarin appreciates audacious ideas that embed disruptive, customer-focusedtechnologies with the potential to address and transform large markets. Aarin supports their investee companies in generating profitable revenue growth, instituting strong compliance and governance processes, margin enhancement and active operational and strategic management. Aarin manages stage-agnostic funds with the ability to support its investee companies from incubation to exit. Visit www.aarincapital.com for more information.