How Study Rocket Found Product-Market Fit
Read how MOHARA helped Study Rocket find product-market-fit in the notoriously difficult EdTech space.
The EdTech Space is Crowded
It’s really hard to make a product land in EdTech.
- There is a range of customers: parents, schools and students.
- The market is stuffed with low-quality and low-cost products.
- The buying process within schools is complicated by multiple stakeholders.
But the need is huge – education is skewed in favour of wealthy students studying at private schools. The eight top private schools provide the same number of Oxbridge students as 3,000 state schools. EdTech can play a massive role in levelling the playing field – and Study Rocket had the vision and drive to be part of the solution.
Study Rocket Has Big Ambitions
One reason why students from less privileged backgrounds perform poorly in exams is that they’re not taught the right techniques. Study Rocket initially aimed to decode GCSE and A Level content, helping students access the right information and techniques to excel in exams.
There is no shortage of revision guides: some are free, others are expensive and most are poor. The first-time founder at Study Rocket, James Terry, wanted to do something different – he wanted to give students the information they needed in a format that they could understand.
A Perfect Partnership
The Study Rocket team had a strong focus on talking to users and a clear vision of what to build. They needed a partner to help bring the vision to life – MOHARA’s technical and product development expertise complemented the Study Rocket team.
The challenge was to go from nothing to a product that delighted users. As with many tech projects scope was a big challenge. What should Study Rocket offers students? How should this be positioned with buyers? Should they approach a small number of subjects in more detail or take a broader approach?
MOHARA worked closely with Study Rocket to take a large amount of user data and build a project plan that:
- Tested the most fundamental assumptions.
- Minimised project risk.
- Accelerated the project towards the overall business goal – in this case providing the best tool for students preparing for exams.
- Was cost-effective.
MOHARA worked with Study Rocket to build a project plan that outlined the most critical engineering steps, and gave critical insight into what steps were needed to build early traction for the lowest possible investment.
Because MOHARA only benefits if Study Rocket succeeds there is a clear alignment of incentives. Compare this to an agency getting paid a day rate. An agency is ultimately driven by revenue from each client – MOHARA is driven by the success of the business.
After fruitful discussions with the Study Rocket team, the difficult resource allocation decisions were agreed. Within 24 hours a handpicked engineering team was deployed to get the project delivered.
All MOHARA engineers are trained to think, they look for ways to streamline the project, and they’re managed by a team that has a detailed understanding of the Study Rocket project. This leads to efficient and accurate engineering deployment.
The first iteration of the product was a hit with students; it soon amassed 15,000 users and the reviews were excellent. This foundation was critical for the next phase of product development.
The Next Step – A Scalable SaaS Product
With an engaged user base, Study Rocket was ready for the second round of funding to turn the product into a scalable SaaS proposition. As a partner, MOHARA used its experience to help build a compelling proposition to investors.
The next step was a challenge. With capital in place and a degree of traction the difficult process of building a commercially viable product that users love began.
MOHARA helped the team navigate some key challenges:
- The user research was properly interrogated to ensure it was turned into a low-risk product roadmap.
- Resources were allocated carefully so that key assumptions were tested and features that fell out-of-scope were minimised.
- The right engineers, product managers, UX/UI designers and testers were deployed to bring the product to life.
- User engagement was continually tested so that the team could zero in on the features that added the most value.
One element that emerged from product development was a timetabling feature. Constant iteration and user feedback provided the insight that timetabling was a huge problem for students.
It very quickly became clear that the concept of a planning tool had the potential to be a standalone product; it is currently being developed for release on the App Store.
The highly productive partnership between MOHARA and the Study Rocket team led the startup to the stage where it hired an in-house product development team to build on the foundations laid in the first two years.
“Our job was to take James’s vision and deliver it from a technical perspective. James was a good founder to work with because he had a brilliant intuitive understanding of the market. We used our experience to add guidance on taking that understanding and turning it into a product that users would love. ”
– Richard Sams, CEO, MOHARA
“Working with James was a pleasure, he’s a visionary entrepreneur that is making a real difference in education. As the project manager, I’m proud of the MOHARA team for building a robust product and overcoming difficult technical challenges.”
– Etienne Smith, Project Manager at MOHARA
“MOHARA has been a great partner. The EdTech market is tough and I needed a standout product. MOHARA provided technical excellence and know-how to build a great product. Early-stage Founders are drowning in tasks. MOHARA relieved the strain of tech to give me the ability to focus on product and building a solid venture. It’s like having a fully organised in-house development team at your fingertips without the capital risk.”
– James Terry, Founder at Study Rocket