With 100K registered users, e-learning startup Sigrid secures funding from Oliphans Capital


E-learning startup Sigrid has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Oliphans Capital. Sigrid enables teachers to bring their courseware, testing material and insights online, allowing them to reach out to students across the country, and allowing students to benefit from the ability of these great teachers.

The brainchild of Ajit Maheswari, Atul Kasaundhan and Aakash Aggarwal -- Sigrid partners with world class educational institutes and teachers to bring their teaching pedagogy and academic expertise to one and all, beyond the boundaries of a classroom.

Ajit, Atul and Aakash are IIT BHU alumni. Before graduating from IIT BHU in 2009, Ajit had his first education startup incubated in the college campus. Atul worked on various technologies, including on the server side as well as client applications in iOS and Android in Adobe. Aakash helped Ajit on their education startup while still at college.

Currently, the company has 100K users on board. Courseware and teaching content are recorded using Sigrid’s proprietary platform 'Sigrid Notes', and it provides a one-on-one teaching experience to the students.

Sigrid Notes has been designed to be compatible with all operating systems and browsers and is extremely low footprint - so it can be used on any device and on any bandwidth. Sigrid's tests are adaptive in nature, thereby focusing testing attention on the areas the student needs more guidance in. Sigrid also provides comprehensive performance analysis and peer comparison.

Sigrid CEO and Co-founder, Ajit said,

The way people consume information has changed drastically in the past few years and the change can be seen in the education sector as well. We feel students are now looking for customised information and learning experience rather than a mass approach available at schools and colleges. Our platform aims to get the best out of students by providing them high quality content with the option to personalise the pace and time.

The company plans to utilise funds for developing more content, refine technology and marketing. Ajit said,

With this capital infusion, we aim to create and introduce courses in the 50 most prominent test-prep and K12 curriculum areas over the next six months.

Sigrid works with good teachers and education institutes to create content of different courses. Sigrid Notes bring fast scale-up and rapid content creation capabilities to online education.

Speaking about the thesis behind the investment, Anish Jhaveri, Founder, Oliphans Capital, said,

Digital education, or online content is still in its nascent stages in India. However, with increasing emphasis on quality of content by students and also ease of availability, we expect it to be the next big thing. The Sigrid team, with their valuable experience in the offline and on-line education delivery sectors, understands the Indian education system well and is able to bring the content based on their analysis of the loopholes in the education system. We are sure the platform will be a great value add to the students in the years to come.

Online education has caught the fancy of many entrepreneurs in India and we’ve seen a flurry of online test prep portals coming up over the past couple of years. Pointing out the size of the market Sigrid is eyeing to crack, Ajit added,

According to our estimation, we are trying to grab a slice of $25 billion opportunity and we look forward to become the most prominent player in the segment.

Sigrid competes with Hyderabad-based Next Education, Edutor and Edukart among others in the K-12 segment while it rubs shoulders with Toppr, Embibe, Examify, including several others in the test prep segment.

Education technology startups are seeing a spate of investor activity over the past few months with top venture capital firms validating their growth potential. Since April, at least seven (including this) startups in this space have raised over $40 million in initial funding. Earlier this week, Edukart raised $1 million from Holostik Group’s United Finsec (family office arm), Yuvraj Singh’s YouWeCan Ventures and 500 Startups.