PrepLadder, owned by Unacademy, eyes global expansion in 2024
PrepLadder, owned by Unacademy, plans to expand globally in 2024 to eventually become a global medical education platform, said Deepanshu Goyal, CEO and co-founder of Prepladder.
He said Activity area expansion plans would begin in markets such as the United States, Canada and the Philippines.
The postgraduate (PG) test preparation company said it had become profitable after two years of its acquisition by edtech unicorn Unacademy.
“2021 was actually a crazy year. There was a lot of money coming in and so we launched a lot of new categories. Eventually we realized that we didn’t have the strength for all of these categories, so we had to release a few. Now I believe we have learned a lot and are at a good stage in our growth journey,” said Goyal.
In June 2022, PrepLadder laid off 150 employees, which it said were participating in the Performance Improvement Program (PIP).
Due to skyrocketing customer acquisition costs (CAC) and a slowdown in funding, many edtech companies, including Vedantu, Unacademy, and Byju’s, have laid off employees this year.
However, Goyal argues that the company’s CAC has been weak from the start. “To give you an idea, by industry standards, a Business Development Manager (Sales Manager) typically generates an average of Rs. 4-5 lakh in revenue per month. However, in the case of PrepLadder, this number is around Rs 15-20 lakh per month. So that’s the kind of product and brand that we’ve built,” he added.
It currently has 1.7 lakh fee-paying students, of which 1.5 lakh are enrolled in the PG medical category.
The remaining clients are in two new categories – the UPSC and the CAT (management exam). Prepladder operates on a freemium model, where students get access to 10% of course content for free and must upgrade to premium for the rest.
Its PG medical prep courses cost between Rs. 35,000 to 40,000, compared to around Rs 1.25 lakh offered by offline players.
Unlike its parent company, PrepLadder does not have an offline presence. However, Goyal said that the offline market in the PG medical preparation segment has rebounded well and that PrepLadder may consider opening offline centers next year.
“Offline has rebounded very well. Eventually, if we want to take a bigger share of the market, we may have to be everywhere,” Goyal added.
Classes include pre-recorded lectures, notes and question banks, among others. Goyal argues that recorded lectures work best for the PG prep course.
In PG courses, the intent is high and often students are actually working somewhere, so they may not be able to keep up with the live course schedule.
“We record a library of very high quality content using animation, real patients – whatever is possible. This allows students to study asynchronously,” he added.
Goyal said student dropouts happen for all educational platforms. On PrepLadder, nearly 66% of users use the app weekly (as of July 2022) and 90% engage with it monthly. Moreover, the average time of these users is 7-8 hours per week in the main categories of the company.
Goyal is looking to add super-specialty content for healthcare professionals next year. “We will be launching super-specialty courses for students who have completed their medical PG and are preparing for the super-specialty. We are recovering 11 super-specialty categories which we will start next year,” he added.
September 01, 2022