Teamie – riding the EdTech boom

Passion for movies runs deep among Indians. So we were not very surprised when an interview with an EdTech entrepreneur led to a discovery that he is an amateur actor and co-producer as well. Shivanu Shukla the Co-founder and CEO of Teamie worked on a film called Mausams. Movie actually went on to win awards and had multiple screenings in India and Singapore.

Shivanu has since shifted focus to start his EdTech venture Teamie with an ex-colleague and friend Ashwin Singh. Teamie is a social learning platform that drives collaborative learning, enhances educator productivity & institution performance. Currently it is used across 10 countries by schools, colleges and enterprises to make learning engaging & collaborative, and accessible anytime, anywhere.

Teamie's co-founders Ashwin (Left) and Shivanu (Right). Photo courtesy: Teamie

After studying at the National University of Singapore (NUS) on the prestigious Singapore Airlines-Neptune Orient Lines (SIA-NOL) Undergraduate scholarship, he lived the consulting life for few years.

While working on a consulting engagement around the idea of Enterprise Social Networks and their feasibility & impact in 2009, he came across findings, which caught his attention.  Sectors where there was a dire need for collaboration & engagement. Screaming for a solution and presenting a great business opportunity.

Shivanu Shukla, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Teamie. Photo courtesy: Teamie

Shivanu and his ex-colleague from Frost & Sullivan, Ashwin Singh took the plunge and Teamie was born. Ashwin assumed the role of the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer. taking care of sales, go-to-market strategy, technology & operations at Teamie. Shivanu manages the business affairs of Teamie and is responsible for product strategy, go-to-market strategy and sales.

Teamie addresses the challenge of engaging students in e-learning in an information-rich social media-driven, hyper-connected mobile-centric world. Says Shivanu, "e-learning has been around for many years, but the lack of engagement has reduced its effectiveness. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are transforming the way education is being delivered and pushing institutions to provide a more flexible learning approach."

"Teamie helps institutions and organisations in making learning more engaging & fun, accessible anytime anywhere; make learners part of a community, and help teachers with analytics to drive better performance," added Shivanu.

With Teamie, teachers and trainers are now able to provide deeper and richer feedback to students through rubrics, or audio comments, whilst saving time. Teachers can manage when and by whom a learning resource is consumed, track consumption or map learning resources on Teamie to specific objectives of a curriculum. This eliminates common problems found on usual learning portals such as being unable to keep track of which students have yet to view the assignment or the topics the student is weak in.

Ashwin Singh, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Teamie. Photo courtesy: Facebook page of Teamie

Before zeroing in on what they describe, "one-of-a-kind e-learning platform," Shivanu and Ashwin did an in-depth research among students, teachers, HR directors, and parents to get a better sense of landscape.

Asking about the significance of Teamie in the existing Singapore's education market, Shivanu said, "Our philosophical difference with other Learning Management Systems (LMSs) is that traditional LMSs are built to deliver learning content, whereas Teamie is built to support collaboration and discussions around that learning content."

"We believe that we learn better when we learn together. We feel that we learn better when there is an opportunity to discuss, ask questions, share ideas about the learning topic instead of just consuming a video or a document alone. The discussion around the learning content helps improve the understanding of the individual as well as the group as a whole."

With customers in the US, UK and Singapore, Teamie is making its mark globally with a strong competition with the crowded marketplace of well-funded and listed companies from the US. Says Shivanu, "Companies have done side-by-side comparisons of Teamie and other players, and after a thorough evaluation of the products picked Teamie. Even when the market is highly competitive and fragmented, Teamie is in the final shortlist of 2-3 vendors, together with current leading providers of traditional LMSs."  

Earlier in the year Dr Tuan Minh Pham, Founder and CEO of Topica while speaking in the Edtech Asia Summit 2016 said in his keynote address, "Within 10 years, 50 per cent of students will receive their education via online." Founders of Teamie would agree with this wholeheartedly as they grow across geographies.

Teamie is used across 10 countries by schools, colleges and enterprises. Photo courtesy: Facebook page of Teamie

The company is expanding its reach to the larger Asia market, with a strong interest from China and with (direct or partnership) presence in the ASEAN market. They are investing more in the product to create a personalised learning environment that can cater to the needs of individual students, while creating a collaborative workspace for discussions, and share. The approach of Teamie is to provide deeper insights to teachers/trainers, parents (in school scenarios) and administrators on how they can improve learning performance, and hence more focus on learning analytics.