Early days at LurnQ
The Mumbai based startup, which has been backed by SeedFund, thankfully doesn’t want to become another cool social network. It is a model that has been developed on the very basis of outcome driven learning. The platform is trying to bridge the gap between knowledge seeker and provider by tying the social layer over it. A crowdsourced platform that helps users to enhance their knowledge on various subjects such as entrepreneurship, technology, advertising, social media, etc.
Tarun invested a major part of his professional career in understanding the education business and scaling it up at a time when digital learning was creating just about impressions. He spent a great deal of his professional time at Aptech and during this time he took the business across borders to Asia, Africa and Middle East. Tarun also happened to be a consultant helping Governments of South Africa and Malaysia. In fact before starting up LurnQ, Tarun got associated with Claimat – a startup in healthcare data.
“It was during late 2010 I was meeting a lot of people while I was involved with Claimat and at this point I happened to meet my two other co-founders at LurnQ – Ramesh Nidadavolu and Devvrat Arya. This led to the formation of TechLabs in 2011,” shared Tarun while talking about the early days of LurnQ.
The initial idea was working on a learning management system but it didn’t work out. However, the team got back to the drawing board and this time then came out with 4 different apps – Search, Learn, Teach and Library.
“With these 4 different apps we started approaching investors but none were interested. However, SeedFund backed us and this engagement also highlighted the missing layer of social at LurnQ. So we assembled all the 4 apps together and introduced the notifications/feed to give the social powers,” added Tarun.
Challenges at LurnQ
LurnQ caught my eyes even before I had reviewed it. It was endearing to encounter that the startup was nowhere close to Quora. However, the startup has its own set of challenges – 1) Content monitoring and 2) User traction.
Speaking on the content moderation point, Tarun shared that right now whatever goes on the platform is thoroughly checked. However, he is well aware that this mechanism of content moderation is not scalable so going further the startup wants the community to take care. Additional features such as reporting content would be introduced and existing features like up vote and down vote are already helping, shared Tarun.
However, he believes that adoption of content consumption over Internet is happening quite rapidly and is optimistic that infrastructure problems won’t be a hindrance to the growth of LurnQ.
“There is a demographic and life style shift that is happening and the mobile adoption makes me confident that it would happen in next five years. And at LurnQ, we are developing mobile and desktop apps which would provide a seamless experience,” expressed the confident CEO.
Enhancements at LurnQ
With the existing model, the platform is looking at various interesting models such as an Enterprise Edition of Lurn Q and building a Course Marketplace.
Explaining the need of an Enterprise Edition, Tarun shared that design wise it won’t be any different but organizations using LurnQ will have a greater control on the content and the platform.
“The Enterprise model will have a highly functional control panel along with easy user management, content management and API integration with Slideshare, YouTube, etc.” added Tarun. These features that would be a part of premium section, are free for 45 days for organizations to try out. Tarun also expressed that learning at LurnQ will always be free.
The other feature that the startup is also working at is creating a Course Marketplace which is expected to be out in the market by August, 2013. The marketplace would be fundamentally different from the existing marketplaces that are being provided by existing players like Udemy.
“The marketplace at our end would have tight content partnership with credible publishers. If we are offering knowledge about a particular vertical then we would like to be aggressive and launch a comprehensive number of courses for our users,” added Tarun.
LurnQ, in a true sense, is evolving into a future-ready learning platform that is interactive, driven by community and making learning fun.
[pullquote id = “lhipull” class = “left_lhi”]We want LurnQ to be with you to address all your learning related queries making it an enjoyable and seamless experience.[/pullquote]