Gurucool, a Jamia alumni-led ed-tech start-up launches app for underprivileged

Adil Meraj: Co-founder of Gurucool. | Photo: By arrangement

The Padhai app will provide academic space for learning and to make quality education accessible for the underprivileged. 

Mohd. Umair Yunus |

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NEW DELHI — Gurucool, a Delhi-based EdTech startup launched the Padhai app on Friday. The app seeks to provide an academic space for learning and to make quality education accessible for the underprivileged by providing more than 3500 curated open-source educational courses offered by platforms like MIT open courseware, Khan Academy, YouTube educators, and many more.

Adil Meraj and Khansa Fahad, the two alumni of Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) started Gurucool in 2019. Gurucool is an educational networking platform that offers a suite of phygital (physical+digital) tools to connect learners and educators. The founders of Gurucool got into the limelight when they secured pre-seed funding of $150,000 (around 1 crore rupees) in November 2021.

“The Padhai app counters the price-tagged digital education offered by other ed-tech platforms while making digital education accessible and free for all,” Meraj told

“The Padhai app provides information on scholarships, educational short videos similar to YouTube shorts called BITS, and other things of importance to learners. It offers curated courses in 8 regional languages,” Meraj said, adding that the app has live classes, study material, test series and questionnaires for K-12, competitive exams, and the skill India program. 

The higher education department of the government of Bihar approved the Padhai app as a pilot project, he said. Conversations are on with several other governments to start the Padhai app on a pilot project basis. 

Gurucool is an educational networking platform offering over 25 tools and a vast content pool for educators and learners to learn, network, and have fun with them. Gurucool aims to digitize education while not compromising on the need for physical classrooms. We are making education phygital, said Meraj. 

Gurucool got pre-seed funding from the Indian-American angel investor, Parvez Jasani (CEO, Zulie Venture Inc.) and Aqib Hussain of FreeFlow Venture Builders. The ed-tech platform is estimated worth $ 2 million. 

“When I spoke to Adil and Khansa for the first time I was super impressed with their vision and passion, and that made me invest in Gurucool instantly”, Parvez Jasani told 

Gurucool offers a vast content pool, empowering educators, schools, and colleges with minimal financial support and which are functioning especially among the marginalized groups. The schools and colleges can potentially build their digital infrastructure using Gurucool’s content. 

The Ed-Tech platform follows the model of personalized learning by creating educational centres which implement the concept of a conference-based teaching ecosystem that has a 12:1 student-teacher ratio. These education centres have a club system, library, workshops, sessions, and smart classes among other things.

Gurucool aims to launch 50 centres in 15 cities across India in the upcoming year with each centre having an accommodating capacity of 600 students.


Mohd. Umair Yunus is a fellow in the SEEDS-TCN mentorship program.