These 7 edtech startups caught investors' attention this year
Edtech sector looked bright last year. Poised to reach $1.96 billion by 2021, India has a current user base of around 9.6 million. This is a trend that many edtech venture capital firms are looking closely at, as seen by the significant investments in the sector in India.
According to a Google-KPMG report, the online tutoring market is expected to grow dramatically in the next two years to around 10 million users. This will still represent only a tiny sliver of the Indian market that has over 250 million students currently enrolled in schools, indicating a tremendous potential.
The funding trend in the sector in India has a similar story to tell and investor interest in the space has been noteworthy. This year, the edtech sector witnessed some significant investments, which include both big and small names.
YourStory takes a look at some of the edtech startups that raised funding this year.
The exam preparation platform, Gradeup had received $7 million in Series A funding from Times Internet. This is the second fundraiser for Gradeup in 2019, which has now raised $10 million in total.
Started in 2015 by Shobhit Bhatnagar, Sanjeev Kumar, and Vibhu Bhushan, Gradeup helps more than 18 million exam aspirants prepare effectively for competitive examinations like JEE, NEET, GATE, IBPS, SSC, TET, UPSC, among others.
(L-R) Shobhit Bhatnagar, Sanjeev Kumar & Vibhu Bhushan
The platform offers a comprehensive exam preparation experience, which engages students through live classes, interactive quizzes, mock tests, 24x7 mentorship, among others. All of this is designed and delivered by expert faculty through a structured methodology in a day-wise study plan.
Unacademy, the Bengaluru-based edtech startup, raised $50 million in Series D funding round from Steadview Capital, Sequoia India, Nexus Venture Partners, and Blume Ventures. The funding round also saw the participation of other startup founders including Aakrit Vaish (Co-founder and CEO, Haptik) and Sujeet Kumar (Co-dounder and CEO, Udaan). In fact, the founders of Unacademy - Gaurav Munjal and Roman Saini also participated in the round.
Unacademy Co-founders (L to R), Roman Saini, Hemesh Singh and Gaurav Munjal
Started by Roman, Gaurav, and Hemesh Singh, Unacademy helps educators create lessons on the Educator App, which learners access via the Learning App, and it has more than 10,000 educators and 13 million learners on its platform.
Bengaluru-based Vedantu raised $42 million in a Series C funding round led by Tiger Global and WestBridge Capital. With this round, the online tutoring platform is expected to be valued at around $100 million.
Vedantu’s Founders (L-R): Vamsi Krishna, Anand Prakash, and Pulkit Jain
Vedantu was launched by Pulkit Jain, Anand Prakash, and Vamsi Krishna in 2014. It has over one million lifetime users on its platform, and recently launched W.A.V.E – a personalised and interactive form for online learning platforms. The platform helps with student-teacher interaction, doubt-solving, participation in gamified quizzes, and customisation of teaching patterns owing to constant feedback.
Mumbai-based edtech startup Lido Learning raised $3 million as part of its Series A funding round led by investors like Ronnie Screwvala (Chairman, upGrad), Ananth Narayanan (CEO, Medlife), Vikrampati Singhania (MD, JK Tyres), Anupam Mittal (CEO, Shaadi.com), and Arihant Patni (MD, Patni Wealth Advisors), among others.
Sahil Sheth founded Lido Learning in April 2019 to cater to students from Classes V to XI, offering year-long coaching classes in mathematics and science, through an integrated online platform that combines content along with tutors from across the country.
Adda247 has secured $6 million in Series B funding led by Info Edge (India) and Asha Impact. STL. An existing investor of Adda247 also participated in the latest round.
Adda247 offers products like live-video classes, on-demand video courses, mock tests, and books focussed on government examinations.
Anil Nagar (L) and Saurabh Bansal (R)
Started by Anil Nagar and Saurabh Bansal in 2010, Adda247 today is present on both online and offline platforms, with more than 450 coaching centers, 500+ professionals, and about 1,000 teachers across the country. Since its inception in 2010, the company claims it has trained more than 100 million students and helped them crack various prestigious government examinations.
DoubtNut has raised a funding of Rs 23 crore ($3.3 million) in the round led by Surge, an early-stage startup accelerator programme by Sequoia India, with participation from existing investors WaterBridge Ventures and Omidyar Network India, and new investor, AET, Japan.
Doubtnut co-founders Aditya Shankar and Tanushree Nagori.
Launched in October 2017 by IIT-Delhi alumni Tanushree Nagori and Aditya Shankar (who are also serial entrepreneurs in the education space), DoubtNut is an instant doubt clearing app leveraging AI. It helps students (Classes 6-12 + IIT-JEE) get answers to math problems in an easy-to-use format – the student takes a picture of the problem and gets a video explaining the solution.
With over one lakh videos in the library prepared by experts from IITs and other leading institutions, the company believes these are valuable tools for students and can also act as an aid to teachers.
Bengaluru-based edtech startup Cuemath raised $5.5 million in its extended Series B funding round led by Manta-Ray Ventures Limited and also saw the participation from existing investors Capital G by Google and Sequoia India.
(L-R) Anushray Gupta (CTO), Nikhil Pawar (Head of Curriculum), Manan Khurma (CEO), Akshay Kumar (COO)
The platform, which was founded by Manan Khurma in 2013, is an after-school math excellence programme for children between KG and Class 8 levels and is offered through home-based centres, which are managed and run by trained and certified Cuemath teachers.
(Edited by Suman Singh)