[Funding alert] Alternate tech education venture SOAL raises $300K led by Astarc Ventures
School of Accelerated Learning (SOAL), a Mumbai-based hybrid learning venture, has closed its first round of funding of $300,000 led by Astarc Ventures.
Additionally, tech and startup leaders such as Srinivas Kollipara, Founder, T-Hub; Ramki Gaddipatti, Founder and CTO, Zeta; and Krishnan Menon, Founder, BeeCash also participated in this round.
Gearing up for growth, SOAL’s Founders Raj Desai, Varsha Bhambhani, and Pratik Agarwal said,
“We will use these funds to launch the second campus in Mumbai by December and beef up operations with a bouquet of programmes in creative-tech such as Digital Marketing, AI, Blockchain and Design. In the next two years, SOAL aims to launch its tech-enabled learning spaces in metros as well as Tier-II cities.”
SOAL’s Founders (L-R): Pratik Agarwal, Varsha Bhambhani and Raj Desai
SOAL said in a statement that it is disrupting the centuries-old education system that neither develops relevant technical nor soft skills, which are much needed for the fourth industrial revolution happening now. The company’s product Meta-Learning is a hybrid learning method that marries online learning’s access to offline learning’s engagement.
The company claims to have been solving a two-fold problem - education and employability, where India’s recent engineer’s benefit as much as the talent starved industry. With average salaries at par with the top 20 Indian Engineering Colleges, graduates from SOAL's programme have recently started working with tech organisations like ShopClues, ClearTax, FactSet, ThoughtWorks, NowFloats, and Schrocken, it added.
Co-founder Pratik Agarwal added,
“With SOAL, we are not only impacting that one individual but an entire bunch of people around them. Raising someone’s aspiration trickles down through generations and that is the impact that we, at SOAL, are looking at. We are here to build what a college of the 21st century needs to look like- dynamic, accessible, and fast. Our learners are picking up skills that will help them embrace and drive disruption. We are on our way to changing how we learn tech forever, and this is just the beginning!”
Astarc Ventures, a Mumbai-based venture fund, has invested in an array of technology ventures such as Virgin Hyperloop One, Rapido, and PharmEasy among others. This is their first foray into learning-tech.
Astarc strongly believes that the education market needs to be disrupted, and School of Accelerated Learning’s focus on career development of Indian youth through quality education is the much-needed answer.
“We think there is an acute shortage of demand and supply with respect to tech talent in the market and with the tech stacks evolving rapidly, an effective upskilling solution with the focus on the industry is the key to bridge the gap," said Salil Musale, Director of Astarc Ventures.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)