Launched in March 2015, Hyderabad-based Byndr, a mobile learning management platform, has raised $700,000 in seed funding from Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Education Design Studio, and a group of angel investors.
The fresh funds will be used to expand sales and development. There will also be an increased focus on providing colleges with added administrative features and students with greater access to educational content.
The platform was founded by Joseph Freed, Praveen Vangeepuram, and Marc Garabedian in Philadelphia, and Satish Nampally and Prashanthi Vangeepuram in Hyderabad.
Byndr was developed with the aim of becoming a single point of access for students in higher education to connect to their colleges and educational resources. The founders noticed that in many emerging markets students in higher education had limited access to educational resources that were mobile-based, and a majority of students were not connected to their colleges on any online platform.
The platform claims to be in use by over 50 of the country’s reputed colleges, with its total installed base exceeding 50,000 students.
Joseph Freed, co-founder and CEO said, “In 2017, it is projected that 80 percent of the internet users in India will be mobile. So the only way to truly create a single point of access for students in mobile-dependent markets like India is with a mobile-first product. This round of funding will allow us to accelerate expansion and continue providing easy-to-use and mobile-first products for all stakeholders in higher education.”
Bobbi Kurshan, Executive Director of Academic Innovations at the University of Pennsylvania GSE, and Chairman of the Education Design Studio, who participated in this round, said, “Byndr is changing the LMS model. It is creating a solution for emerging economies with lack of persistent internet, lower cost points, and need for a lightweight solution.”
Byndr is a graduate of the Education Design Studio, the edtech accelerator at the University of Pennsylvania. It is also being supported by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA, an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.
Although the education sector has not seen much traction from the investors, recently BYJU’s raised $75 million from Sequoia Capital and Sofina and is also in talks to raise another hefty amount of $50 million.
The other well-funded education startups include Accel and Tiger-backed Vedantu, Educomp, and iProf.