CuriousJr started with the idea of enabling students without laptops to learn to code on their mobiles since 88 percent of K-12 students in India do not have access to laptops. During the lockdown, IIT-BHU (Varanasi) graduates Amit Shekhar, Janishar Ali, and Mridul Ranjan Sahu — got on a Zoom call and started writing down challenges they could address that would empower children all across the world. Curiosity Edtech Private Limited (CuriousJr) was born out of this need for a mobile solution for K12 children to learn coding on September 2020.
The Gurugram-based vernacular online coding platform caters to students between the ages of 8 and 17 years
Mridul Ranjan Sahu, Co-Founder, CuriousJr shares the journey of the startup and its future:
How was CuriousJr founded?
CuriousJr started with the idea of enabling students without laptops to learn to code on their mobiles since 88 percent of K-12 students in India do not have access to laptops. Ali, Amit, and I have known each other for 11 years and have worked or lived together since then. We wanted to make a difference in the education sector. CuriousJr started with the idea of enabling students without laptops to learn to code on their mobiles since 88 percentof K-12 students in India do not have access to laptops. CuriousJr was born out of this need for a mobile solution for K12 children to learn coding.
We planned the MVP and launched our first product within 3 months of that zoom call in September 2020. The CuriousJr App Store was created so that children could publish and share their work with their friends and family. Later, a competition platform was developed so that students could compete with their fellow coders to see where they were in the ecosystem.
Why is it named CuriousJr?
Students at a young age are the most curious ones, and we always want to serve that curiosity; hence Curious and Jr is for K12/young students. This led us to CuriousJr.
How much funds have you raised so far?
We have raised $1 million dollars in the Seed round of funding. Currently, more than 180K students are learning to code on mobile devices each month. We look forward to taking it to 500K monthly students this year.
Do you think online will be the default mode for education in India?
Online education has become the most important part of the educational journey of students, which opens the market for the Edtech industry to reach millions of students across all the sectors. Smartphone edtech is reaching the masses without any restrictions of geography, which gives companies an opportunity to provide quality education to every student. Since COVID 19, EdTech adoption has accelerated since there was no option to study offline. What was expected in 2025 has come 5 years earlier.
How is your platform different from existing platforms?
We are focused on making coding accessible for everyone by innovating practice-led coding on mobile phones and making learning effective with vernacular content. India has 88 percent of students out of 270 million who do not have access to laptops.
Coding is the process of converting a programme or task into a language that a computer can understand. When you transform your problem into a series of commands for a computer, you are coding. This can be accomplished using code languages that were built specifically to address these issues. Coding is essential because it allows people to communicate with machines and improve problem solving skills! This makes it easier for us to create the sophisticated programmes and computer systems we desire
To help everyone learn coding, we need to bring innovative solutions that are compatible with our system, hence CuriousJr solving for the masses to learn coding. Mobile brings in scalable solutions that have the capability to educate more than 100 million students at a time. CuriousJr's goal is to bring 100 million K-12 students in the next 5 years onto the platform.
How does one learn coding without computers?
With the help of our app, CuriousJr, children can learn to code on their mobile phones anytime and anywhere. It is accessible, easy to use and understandable, and it is completely free.
We have identified a 3-step learning process in which students learn in bite-size content, code on the code arena and publish their creations on the CuriousJr App Store. Also, students can follow the guided learning curriculum to learn more about coding in a structured way. Students do love the learning process and like to use apps and games with friends, family, and the larger community.
Take us through the learning process on your app
The CuriousJr app is very easy to use and simple to understand. Once you have downloaded the app from the play store, you have to register with a mobile number, after which you are verified and you are in. You can select a language between English and Hindi to proceed further. We also have audio- generated instructions as well, which tell you the same.
The app is built in a way that encourages students and cheers for their achievements. They can also share their achievements with friends, family and larger community.
We also provide opportunities and options to create apps and games and also participate in coding competitions. You earn badges and certificates at the end of the courses.
What kind of jobs are available?
What is the salary range?
The salary of a coding specialist starts at 3 LPA and goes up according to the job title and responsibilities at hand. Our focus is to make sure students become aware of coding and its applications so that they can make themselves eligible for future jobs.
What are your future plans?
Presently Hindi and English languare, the startup is exploring to include Marathi, Telugu, Bengali, and Gujarati languages in the app.
Are you looking at funding in the near future?
We are looking forward to scaling our technology and ecosystem to serve students with mandatory coding education as a subject. Hence, we would like to raise more than enough tosupport our vision and create scalable infrastructure.