Savvica at 3
Savvica has evolved far beyond what I imagined it would become when John and I started the business just over 3 years ago. And rightly so – as the brilliant Steve Blank has so eloquently explained, finding product-market fit is the #1 goal of the entrepreneur. Savvica is successfully zeroing in on a scalable business model: as a technology-enabled education marketing and recruitment services company. The website most people would be familiar with, LearnHub, is now just one piece of the story.
Here are the highlights:
We founded the company with a multi-million dollar venture capital investment from Educomp, India’s largest education company. We have enjoyed the continuing support from Educomp as we’ve scaled up our operations.
We work with universities & colleges primarily in the US, Canada, UK and India to recruit Indian students for their programs. We offer a broad spectrum of products and services including display advertising, lead generation, and complete enrollments. At the moment, we have over 150 active campaigns for customers from the US, UK, Canada, and India.
Our Portals (internally aka our student acquisition funnel)
We are focused on the Indian market, so we are not especially visible to the business community here in the US and Canada. In India though, we are huge. If you don’t count Wikipedia, LearnHub.com is probably the most visited education site in the country. No education site reaches more students in the world’s largest student market. We expect to hit 2 million visitors/month this spring, having passed 1 million visitors/month in 2010.
“LearnHub” is actually only one of the products from our company Savvica Inc. We also run JumboTests, LearnHub’s little sister, which launched last fall. This month it welcomed 22,000 new users, and its growth is accelerating rapidly. We are fairly sure its the most visited test prep site in the world, thanks in part to our content creation team populating it with more free practice tests for GMAT, GRE, SAT, and other standardized tests, than any other repository anywhere.
Here’s something you may not know. StudyPlaces was our biggest competitor in India. It had over $5M in venture capital from Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Ram Shriram’s Sherpalo Ventures, and others, and was founded a year before Savvica. This year, as part of Educomp, we acquired the company and have merged their staff of 70 into ours. A full revamp of the site launched last month, built on a consolidated Savvica technology platform.
Compass – Our “Student Relationship Management System”
Our portals are just the tip of Savvica’s product iceberg. Most of the magic (at least as far as our customers are concerned) happens below the surface. We built Compass to manage Savvica’s interaction with students. You can read more about it here.
- Michelle Caers has been promoted to our Chief Customer Officer, which reflects her expanded responsibilities. Michelle joined the company just when the first website launched as our VP of Business Development.
- Wesley Moxam has been promoted to our Director of Engineering. Our 3rd employee, Wes has lead our product & engineering implementation and scaled our systems to support tens of millions of requests per month.
- My co-founder (and husband!), John Philip Green, remains close to the company but is now working full time at CommunityLend, another startup on the move in Toronto.
It has been a very busy 3 years. Savvica is now over 70 people strong, with 58 in India. We are growing the team aggressively with job openings for a VP of marketing in India, developers in Toronto, and about 30+ new hires for our enrollment division over the next quarter. More stories of my adventures in business, India, technology, mergers, operations to come soon.