Homework has been a pain for almost everyone in our childhood days and for parents, it is a tension yet again. Teachers won’t ever spare us and parents cannot spare their children out of obligation. But, this does not end here. What troubles more is the inability to solve the assignments correctly and crack the solution. Imagine having your homework queries resolved at the press of a button. Surely a bliss! Well, Scholr, a personalized online education service is here to help you out complete your assignments quickly and correctly.
All the students need to do is take a snapshot of the Maths or Science problem they’re struggling with, and they’ll be sent step-by-step guidance to solve it within seconds. For some queries that are not solved through the app’s technology, Scholr experts ensure that students receive the appropriate guidance within a short span of time. The personalised virtual educational assistant provides on-demand learning assistance to school students through its pool of teachers, deep research and innovative tools.
Currently, the app is being used by 2,000+ students and has received a pretty encouraging response in the beta phase itself.
Scholar is part of the AVISHKAR deep tech accelerator programme of IIIT-H Foundation that supports start-ups working on deep learning technologies and machine intelligence, with future expansion plans into. Till date IIITH-Foundation has supported 104 start-ups and made seed investment in 15 startups. From being a sector agnostic ICT incubator, the foundation has changed its focus onto start-ups working on deep learning technologies and machine intelligence, and plans on expanding into the AR/VR and gaming domain as well.
Himanshu Nimje and Manil Gupta, creators of Scholr have build this idea to solve a very basic problem faced by most of the students, leaving apart the genius ones! Here is a quick questionnaire with the founders of the company. A source of inspiration!
How did you come across this idea of helping students with an online education portal?
All of them could relate the problem to their own school days. They found it extremely frustrating to be stuck at a problem and unable to find a solution. For a student, getting help at that very moment is crucial to build a complete understanding of a topic. Thus, Scholr started with an idea of providing relevant instant help to all school students, which enables students to get assistance and solve any challenging problem using a convenient medium of smartphones. Interestingly, about 87 per cent of primary school children and up to 95 per cent of high school students take private tuitions in metro cities. That’s approximately more than 6 crore school students, which clearly shows there’s a need to address the situation.
But shouldn’t schools and teachers be helping clear students doubts on a subject instead of an app?
Yes, we believe teachers are the best mentors. However, Students studying at home wait till the next day or next class to get their doubts clarified either by their school faculties or tuition teachers. Even parents are unable to address this issue, since about 85% of working parents found it difficult to pay attention to their children’s academic needs. Scholr is precisely addressing this issue – it helps parents and students clarify their doubts instantly rather than waiting till they meet their teacher.
How is Scholr different from other educational apps available in the market?
While most apps provide the same prepared content of videos and questions to all students, Scholr focuses on providing on-demand instant assistance for queries specific to students. Students from Grade 1 – 12, whether from CBSE, ICSE and state boards can receive step-by-step solutions in Maths and Science just by taking a snapshot of their problem.
What was the source of investment for developing the app?
Savings of around Rs. 10 lakhs from the cofounders was used for research & product development of the app. Most of the investment has been used to create the proprietary algorithms to provide instant solutions to snapshots of academic questions. Recently, the startup has received a pre-seed funding of Rs. 10 lakhs from IIIT Hyderabad and 50K ventures, which Scholr is using to acquire initial customers and improve its solution accuracy.
Why did you partner with IIIT Hyderabad and how has it helped?
The core technology behind Scholr is based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. As Scholr looks to constantly improve the technology to provide more accurate and relevant guidance to student problems, IIIT Hyderabad’s extensive research in these technologies help them to improve our accuracy multifold moving forward. Scholr has already identified the different research topics, being undertaken currently at IIIT Hyderabad, and the team is working actively towards using the data and analysis in a real business environment.
How exactly are these AI technology and machine learning applicable here? Can you explain with an example?
To provide relevant learning assistance, various algorithms are developed for different purposes. One of those algorithms is mathematical optical character recognition, which has been developed to decipher the maths symbols in a snapshot. Such algorithms help to understand the exact question asked by the student and subsequently allows the platform to provide relevant learning resources.
Currently, how many users do you have and how many queries do you receive on a daily basis?
Scholr app is currently used by more than 3000 students even before undertaking any kind of publicity of the android app. On an average, the app is receiving more than 1200 queries per day from students and the number of queries are increasing rapidly on a weekly basis. Moreover, experts at Scholr make sure that assistance is provided within an hour in the case that technology is unable to provide assistance.
What are the future plans of the company?
Scholr is currently focusing providing quick assistance and improving user experience, and it aims to start monetizing its operations from the next academic year. Also, it plans to provide micro-tutoring sessions for students on a chargeable basis. Till then, the startup assures that home assignments will not trouble the students anymore.