Sanjay Purohit’s journey building iProf and the $9 million series B fundingJubin Mehta
Sanjay Purohit is a turnover specialist. He takes over companies in the red and turns them around to become profitable. An engineer from IIT Bombay, Sanjay went on to become an IAS officer and then went to IIM Ahmedabad for an MBA. Post this course, Sanjay entered the private sector and relocated to the US where he worked for more than a decade. It was in the US during the mid 90s and early 2000s when Sanjay gained expertise in restructuring companies which were on a decline and bring them back on the path of profitability.Sanjay experienced the corporate world in many sectors and geographies and it was in 2009 that he thought of coming back to India to build a venture. He zeroed in on the education sector and this was how iProf was born. iProf is a tablet-based education content delivery company which provides students a way of studying through android-based application that works on an offline model. It enables students to learn and revise concepts for school curriculum (class IX to XII) and entrance tests like IIT JEE (Main & Advance), AIPMT (NEET), CA-CPT etc. through its learning solution. iProf started out as a B2C company (business to consumer) but has slowly shifted more towards the B2B side (business to business). It has tie ups with tablet manufacturers and schools to deliver content.
The growth journey
An iProf estimate puts India's test-preparation market alone to be worth $2.5 billion and growing at 15% a year. Chasing this market, iProf was bootstrapped for the first two years before raising a series A round of $6 million from Norwest Venture Partners and IDG Ventures India. Raising venture wasn't a hassle for iProf owing to Sanjay's experience of having built ventures multiple times previously. Investors were willing to invest more during the first round itself but the fund raise was limited to an amount enough to expand penetration via 100 more offline study centers.
Growing from there, iProf has gone on to reach about 1.3 million students across India and has now gone international with presence in Mauritius as well. To fuel its growth further, iProf recently raised a $9 million series B round from a consortium of investors, led by global education research and technology company Hobsons. Existing investors also participated in the round. This investment will be used to finance acquisitions, expand its network and consolidate its position.
iProf along with Lava won the tender of supplying 1,96,000 Tablets to Meghalaya in January 2013. Growing at an impressive rate, iProf aims to reach out to five million students in the coming year and is banking on international expansion along with penetration within India.
Read more about iProf on their website.