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Amazing! This Gurugram-Based Company Teaches Coding to Students Without Laptop 

Vernacular-based online coding platform CuriousJr enables students without laptops to learn coding on their mobiles. The Gurugram-based edtech startup caters to students between the ages of 8 and 17 years.

Ayushi Raina

Coding is swiftly becoming an essential skill in this electronic era. Indeed, the National Education Policy 2020 accelerated the adoption of coding among children in the midst of COVID-19-led lockdowns. However, one of the most pressing issues these children faced was a lack of access to technology. 

Recognizing this issue, Amit Shekhar, Janishar Ali, and Mridul Ranjan Sahu, all IIT-BHU (Varanasi) graduates, founded Curiosity Edtech Private Limited (CuriousJr ) in September 2020. 

CuriousJr, a vernacular-based online coding platform, enables students without laptops to learn coding on their mobile devices. The Gurugram-based edtech startup serves students aged 8 to 17 years old. 

"We discovered that 88 percent of India's 270 million K-12 students do not have access to a PC/laptop. That is why we concentrated on developing India's first mobile-based code learning platform for K-12 students in vernacular languages. "We believe that studying in one's mother tongue encourages young kids to think and harness their coding talents more effectively, allowing them to become exceptional coders of the future," Mridul tells. 

Apart from Hindi and English, which are already accessible on the site, the startup is looking at adding Marathi, Telugu, Bengali, and Gujarati to the app. 

CuriousJr claims to be the sole player in K12 mobile-based coding education. 

Making code more accessible to the general public 

"We're focusing on producing high-quality content and gamifying the entire platform, which keeps students interested and helps them learn more effectively," Mridul adds. 

CuriousJr employs a three-step learning approach in which students learn through bite-sized content, code in the coding arena, and publish their creations on the CuriousJr App Store. 

The startup refers to this as "impact-based learning system," which enables students to study and see the impact of their learning in order to stay motivated. The portal also provides Block Coding, JavaScript, HTML and computer fundamentals courses, and will soon introduce more programming languages such as CSS, Python, etc. 

"Right now, the curriculum is generally divided based on classes, but the team is working on making it personalized depending on the students' skill set." 

With 500,000 downloads, the platform serves 165,000 monthly students who have generated over 300,000 applications on the CuriousJr App Store. Nearly 60% of CuriousJr's users are from Tier II and III cities, with the rest coming from metros and Tier I cities. 

The Founding Team 

Amit, Ali, and Mridul have known each other for 11 years. Ali and Amit are both passionate coders who have been teaching coding to professionals for the past five years. They have established MindOrks to train professional Android development. Mind Orks is now the largest Android community, with over three million creators. 

The startup employs 14 full-time employees from across technical, product, content, and growth teams. Amit is in charge of the product team, Ali is in charge of technology and curriculum, and Mridul is in charge of the company's growth, user research, and business. 

Monetization and business model 

To make coding more accessible to the general public, the Gurugram-based firm has made its platform free for users for the time being. CuriousJr describes itself as a pre-revenue firm and wants to monetize it eventually by charging students Rs.1000 monthly fees. It also intends to monetize its class-based curriculum packages on its own or through a coach-assisted model. 

Funding and way ahead 

CuriousJr's long-term goal is to teach 50 million students to code in the next five years. The startup is also hard at work on an iOS version, which it plans to launch shortly. In September 2021, it had raised seed funding worth $1 million led by Water Bridge Ventures, Enzia Ventures, and angel investors. 

According to BLinC Invest, an edtech-focused venture capital firm, India's online education sector is expected to be worth more than $3.5 billion by 2022, nearly five times the $735 million it was worth in 2019. 

Further, coding for kids is estimated to be a $14 billion market in India already. CuriousJr competes with some of the biggest players in edtech, such as Unacademy, BYJU's, Tinker Coders, Coding Ninja, etc. 

According to Mridul, what distinguishes CuriousJr is its mobile-based coding learning platform, which is combined with vernacular languages to assist students learn the concept more effectively. 

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