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From Passion to Music Education-Why We Backed Artium Academy

Puranjay Chandel

Dec 12, 2022

Music has been the soul that has driven civilisations since aeons and India has been at the forefront of musical revolution. From the breadths of Kashmir to Kanyakumari and in the past century music from India has been globalised to every corner of the world with the advent of internet accelerating the boom exponentially. Today we believe the total size of music learners is more than 15 million Indian households (domestic+expats) with this number crossing more than 21 million Indian households by 2025.

The passion for music is evident. In India today it is estimated an individual spends 22 hours/week listening to music while globally the average is 18 hours/week. Globally and in India specifically the co-curricular teaching models are highly unorganised and inefficient with music education in particular being a market ripe for disruption due to multiple factors.

With these trends observed we at Chiratae Ventures decided to partner with Artium Academy founded by Ashish Joshi, Nithya Sudhir and Vivek Raicha by leading their $3 Million Pre Series-A round.

Artium Academy is the first of its kind tech-led online music learning and community platform, with courses curated by top musicians, including Sonu Nigam, Aruna Sairam, KS Chitra, Shubha Mudgal and Ananth Vaidyanathan.

The bell for disruption in the music education space is ringing loud

There are multiple trends seen globally and in India that suggest that music education is going to explode with tech-led interventions.

Broad Shifts in the Music Value Chain

1) Power Shift to Creators and Fans

  • With the boom of social media and seismic rise in consumption, users today have inverted the pyramid by dictating terms on how music is being created, distributed, monetised and consumed, but music education still remains untouched.

2) Music turning from a “hobby” to mainstream career option

• With the rise of internet based music-stars (online first music sensations like Shirley Setia in India to global stars like Justin Bieber who were discovered on YouTube first) in the early to mid-2000s and the subsequent exponential boom of influencers globally across conventional and unconventional forms thanks to social media a vast majority of kids in the age group of 6–17 aspire to become full-time influencers. 75% of kids in this demographic in the US want to become YouTubers, and similar trends are playing out in India as well with over 50% of Indian kids as per surveys wanting the same. Unlike the West though, there is no proper formal structure of learning, especially for music in India which we will delve into next.

Gaps in Music Education:

3) Inadequate Formal Infrastructure

• While in the US, there are 3860+ formal courses offered by institutions and 650+ conservatories accredited to offer degrees, India is lagging far behind. In India, music education is still prevalent in gharanas; other than that, private tuition and some online courses are the only means. The limited formal setups are highly inefficient and lagging in standards which we’ll learn about next.

4) Infrastructural gaps leading to limited access and asynchronous learning experiences:

• Most Indian schools do not have music as an extra-curricular activity despite it being part of the formal curriculum as set by almost all educational boards

• The curriculum is not up to date to any basic benchmarks

• Serious dearth in numbers of teachers, furthermore a huge problem in quality of teachers at most formal and informal setups

• Very limited exposure to genres, with focus on regional classical music mostly

• Lack of basic musical equipment and well-maintained instruments to learn

• Access to quality teachers for western music styles and instruments is mostly limited to metros and musical hubs only, further hampered by their higher costs to vast majorities

• Offline 1:1 music learning is expensive for most Indians today and the only available online options today are either 1 teacher: many students or recorded sessions. Artiumis breaking through these challenges with highly affordable and scalable 1:1 online music learning

Demographic Changes:

5) Booming middle class

  • We believe with the strong rise in middle and affluent classes in India, spending on extra-curricular activities and learning is going to rise sharply. We believe extra-curricular spending and learning today is a $10 Billion opportunity in India.
  • Additionally with over 75% of Indian parents wanting performing arts to be the activity of choice for their children, we believe the music education opportunity in India for children alone is almost a $2 Billion market waiting to be disrupted

6) An activity for everyone

Two Core Pillars of Artium’s Unique Experience: Strong pedagogy focus & first of it’skind tech-led learner platform

Artium is building a truly first of its kind one stop platform for every possible user across demographics and interests while using tech to elevate the experience across every step

Best quality teaching for every type of learner as per their own flexibilities and convenience:

• At present Artium is offering 13 courses in total, with 10 courses around different styles for vocals and instrument based courses for guitar, piano and table with drums to be launched soon as well

• Pedagogy is the core value for Artium, with every course being specifically curated by a leading maestro of that genre while being overlooked by Ananth Vaidyanathan. He serves as Artium’s Chief of Pedagogy, who is one of India’s leading voice experts and has served as a mentor for leading music reality shows.

• Artium follows a model where all the instructors are taken in after thorough vetting as full-time employees who are totally focused on 1:1 classes with learners. By focusing on onboarding, the highest quality teachers across different categories Artium is successfully creating a very strong moat at the first step itself.

• With Artium all users have the flexibilities to customise their course completions by booking classes as per their own convenience

• Artium’s courses are structured in a way where anyone from a casual enthusiast wanting to take occasional classes while they make their dinner to individuals wanting to spend hours honing their craft with the dreams to be the next maestro are catered

Furthermore, using tech based gamifications and accessories Artium is providing a totally unique experience which combines the best qualities of in-person classes as well as tech first learnings:

• Highly personalised & granular dashboard to help you track detailed progress in real-time

• In-built zero latency video conferencing platform with a host of musical tools & instruments for a richer experience

• In process to launch first of its kind practice studio for you to submit your assignments & perfect your skills on your own convenience and time while tracking all key metrics

Album in Progress: Artium’s Music Revolution from India to the World

Artium has already uniquely positioned itself by partnering with leading stalwarts to create best in its class courses, while simultaneously building a stack of the best teachers in the country which is complemented by the first of its kind tech-enabled products to provide the most enhanced music learning experience globally.

The founding team is uniquely complimentary in terms of building greatly scalable products, executing big league partnerships and creating highly coherent teams with a great culture. Ashish brings in over 20 years of media-tech experience across leading brands like Universal Music, Hungama Digital to name some. Vivek has spent over 18 years as an investor and operator in media and technology companies while last leading the KKR backed media focussed fund-Emerald Media. Nithya brings in over 20 years of experience from financial services at Bonanza, JM Financial.

Artium is already showing exponential monthly growth in international users and we at Chiratae believe the team will execute to be the leading music education platform in the world, offering a unique experience for every human regardless of boundaries

We at Chiratae Ventures have been at the forefront of the transformation of the Indian consumer journey from backing stalwarts like Myntra, Flipkart to CureFoods, GlobalBees & many more category leaders. If you are building something exciting in the consumer-tech space, do reach out to us at and