Millions of students, and many a time parents too, queue up outside educational institutions to submit application forms in an era of digital revolution. "I applied for a digital marketing course but still had to download a PDF form," says Harsh Roongta, who finished his matriculation last year.
But now a Delhi-based start-up, NoPaperForms, is deploying Saas-based technology to help institutions make the admission cycle — from filling forms to uploading documents to downloading admit card and finally getting the acceptence letter — entirely digital and paperless.
“There are around 500 million applications being filled by Class XII students and graduates every year, and 80 per cent of these are still completely offline,” says Naveen Goyal, who founded NoPaperForms in 2017.
The start-up recently bagged Series B funding of Rs 28 crore from Info Edge at a valuation of Rs 100 crore. This comes after having raised Rs 5.66 crore in Series A, also from Info Edge.
Besides taking the application process online, the start-up is providing real-time solutions to help institutions gather scattered data in order to avoid ad-hoc marketing spends and enable transparency between different departments such as the finance team and the admission team. "Most institutions are unaware where they have the maximum traction and therefore fail to meet the demand," says Goyal.
The working model is similar to that of filling insurance forms with PolicyBazaar or ordering food through Zomato or booking cabs via Ola. The start-up has partnered with 192 institutions, including Amrita University, FMS, IMI and DPS schools.
With budget smartphones and cheap data packs, 81.23 per cent (365 million) of the urban population and 21.4 per cent (194 million) of the rural population in India have access to the internet, according to a World Bank report.
With minimal competition, the start-up can bank on digi-growth to scale up its operations.
NoPaperForms charges Rs 80-90 per application from educational institutions. "While 60 per cent of these institutions pay this amount from their own pocket, 40 per cent tend to pass the cost," says Goyal. For digitising the entire admission, the start-up charges Rs 10-12 lakh annually.
From its inception in February 2017 to March 2018, the firm has processed 1 million applications and is likely to increase it to 3 million this year.
While it has not achieved breakeven so far, the firm is eyeing 20 million applications in the next two years and hopes to garner Rs 150-Rs 200 crore revenue in the process. With a team of 90 people spread across Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru and Jaipur, the firm is currently focusing on expanding its reach.