Business

Upskilling start-up Vani.Coach eyeing $2 mn fund raise

Pune-based upskilling start-up Vani.Coach, which helps enterprises enhance their employees’ ‘communication fitness’, especially in the post-pandemic digital communication world, plans to raise $2 million to fund expansion plans.

The B2B firm started operation about six-months back and counts companies such as L&T, Lupin, CEAT, Cipla, Reckitt Benckiser and Kotak Mahindra Bank as its clients.

“We have a little under 2,000 active users currently. We are looking to sign up about 18,000-20,000 people by the end of March 2022. Subsequently, next year we are aiming at 1,50,000 people and 1.5 million users by 2025,” Ashish Jha, Co-founder and CEO, Vani.Coach, said.

Vani.Coach is a “tech plus human” mobile application. When an employee/user downloads the application, they are assigned a human coach, who through a one-on-one interaction evaluates them and sets a goal and roadmap for each individual user.

“The training content is personalised based on each user’s industry and personal goals…Once these goals are set the employee practices on a daily basis and submits recordings of these practices. The coach checks the progress every week, analyses recordings and gives feedback. And at the end of the month there is a second one on one interaction...it is still 90% self-learning but highly curated for individuals,” Mr Jha said.

He added that the main aim of Vani.Coach is to solve a business problem by helping enterprises upskill their employees.

“Pandemic was a big impetus to push our online model…Earlier organisations would prioritise in the sense that they would say there are 30 people we want to train, rest we will see later. Now they say, I have a workforce of 2,000 people and I need to coach everybody. The communication problems the enterprises face have become more pronounced with people working remotely and conversations happening remotely,” Mr. Jha said.

He added that till now the company has raised about $200,000 from mostly friends and family, but is now talking to various VCs to raise seed capital. “We are looking at raising $2 million right now. This would be invested in go-to- market, enhancing the product so that we can take it to mid-sized business and educational institutions and work on the AI piece to help us scale up much faster,” Mr Jha added.

The company currently has about 200 coaches – with one coach capable of handling about 100-120 trainees. It is eyeing to get 20,000 coaches on board in the next three years. Vani.Coach works on a gig-work model and coaches are paid as per the number of interactions.

“We are not an app that teaches English. We help bridge the communication gaps.. it is about the practice…If we are coaching a director from the big four, we are not going to tell him/her how to put sentences together… but we are definitely going to help him understand who the audience was, was the intended message conveyed… it’s more of a practical application model that makes Vani.Coach work,” Mr. Jha said.


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Printable version | Jan 23, 2022 5:03:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/upskilling-start-up-vanicoach-eyeing-2-mn-fund-raise/article37830086.ece

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