40UNDER 40

Cuemath’s Numbers King

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Manan Khurma, 

Founder and Chairman, Cuemath
age: 36
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Most people dread maths at school. This is what drives Manan Khurma, the 36-year-old chairman and founder of Cuemath, to make this important subject as fun to learn as, say, “music”. The mission, as he calls it, started when he was still studying electronics engineering in IIT-Delhi, something that led him to teach almost 10,000 students. Another inspiration, he says, was his parents, both professors in Delhi University.
Khurma set up Cuemath in 2014 and, over the next few years, opened learning centres in several cities. But business really took off when he launched the online platform in 2019, just in time to catch the Covid-19 tailwind that pushed massive adoption of online learning. Covid-19 meant it had to shut down its physical centres.
The company is backed by Seqouia, Alphawave, Capital G, Lightrack, Manta Ray, Unitus Ventures and Trifecta Capital. It has raised $65 million (at $200 million valuation in 2020) till date. “We are at an inflection point when Cuemath will grow exponentially.”
Cuemath, already in 20 geographies across the world, is now aiming to cover Europe and the Middle East. The U.S. is already bringing in most revenue. The company is headquartered in Bangalore and Gurgaon with international offices in Abu Dhabi and U.K.
One USP of Cuemath is that it’s an after-school learning programme that uses experiential learning methods. Khurma says whether a child goes to school or not, he can learn every aspect of the curriculum, as it is assumed that he’s starting from scratch. Second, the teaching methodology is rooted in reality; for example, while teaching exponents, students are nowadays being taught with examples of how Covid-19 spreads. Third, the platform teaches every aspect of math, including logical thinking and reasoning, and not just arithmetic skills.
With the online platform being used across the world, Manan Khurma has set an ambitious target of teaching a billion children, though he is clear that Cuemath will continue to focus on teaching foundational math till K12 level. Most Indian online education platforms such as Vedantu, Unacademy and Byju’s offer school curriculum as well as test prep training.
Now that he has a full-fledged team to run the company, Khurma is spending time to understand the different pedagogical methods. He is fascinated with the models followed by Singapore, South Korea and Finland and wants to use them to make the product better. That is why enrolling a billion students does not seem an unreachable goal.

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