PARIKSHA RAISES FUNDING FROM INSEAD ANGELS
Company has managed to raise an undisclosed amount of investment from the INSEAD Angels of its pre-series A round of funding.
A GOOD TIME FOR EDU-TECH START-UPS
Modern technology can revolutionise Indian classroom teaching which has anyway become an anachronism. Soon the technological industries will step in and start replacing the brick-and-mortar class rooms. The AR, VR, MR technologies make learning fun, easy and accessible to all.
These universal aspects of the learning resources make these ed-tech start-ups get the required support from investors and larger firms.
Founded in 2015 by Karanvir Singh, Utkarsh Bagri, Vikram Shekhawat and Deepak Choudhary, Pariksha is a Pune-based ed-tech start-up and is a vernacular test preparation company, Knoctowl Technologies, which owns and operates the online test preparation platform. It operates in 11 states, six languages and has 65,000 subscribers.
The start-up aims to target the 75 million aspirants in India who spent $2.3 billion on preparing for vernacular state government employment exams every year.
In an extension of its pre-series A round of funding from Angel Investors, the firm has managed to raise an undisclosed amount of investment from the INSEAD Angels.
This round was led by INSEAD Angels, IIT Kanpur Angels, Nikhil Vora - CEO and Swati Mehra - Partner at Sixth Sense Ventures, Saahil Bhatia - Director at Temasek Holdings IndiaPrivate Limited, Sitanshu Shah - Principal Bain & Company, Gurinder Ratra, Gautam Khanna - CEO of Hinduja Hospitals, Ameya Chandavarkar - Director FDC, Akshat Birla - CEO Finovate Capital, Sheetal Birla - Director at Falkonry, Deepa Bhatia - General Manager of YouGov, and existing investor Venture Catalysts (VCats).
The Founder of Pariksha, namely, Karanvir Singh said that the investment will help the firm strengthen their network across them and help them get in touch with people as much as it will help them enhance their product offerings.
In the words of Singh, who describes the vision of their start-up, “We are solving the problem of accessibility for 90 percent of these 75 million aspirants who do not have access to good test preparation options, Pariksha is a great equalizer, it helps students from Bharat prepare for state government job exams in the language of their choice through VOD, Live Streaming Classes, in the most economical, convenient and enriched manner.”
He talks about the multitudes who aspire to gain employment in government positions and take the exam in regional languages, yet do not get an educational platform having an outreach as huge as one that the ed-tech firm has been able to bolster.
In July last year, the company had raised $1 million (Rs 6.8 crore then) in a seed funding round from a group of investors, including Venture Catalysts.
Nikhil Vora, CEO and Swati Mehra, Partner at Sixth Sense Ventures said, “As in many sectors, there will be lag between awareness, adoption and monetization. However, we believe Pariksha – with their solid team, credible ecosystem tie-ups and focused on-ground execution – has strong potential to lead the vernacular online education space.”
Bringing to light ed-tech start-ups - with the changing times and the demands for education on online platforms and with competitive exams getting postponed due to the lockdown are making time for students to prepare better – there are other start-ups that have been able to raise good amounts of funding.
Earlier in this May, 2020 month, Individual Learning, which owns and operates online learning platform Embibe, was in the process to raise $65.92 million from promoter Reliance Industries (RIL). Of that, the start-up managed to raise an amount of $3.96 million (around Rs 30 crore then) from the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Limited at the time.
K 12 Innovations, which has its headquarters in Gurugram, and is the owner of the online technology learning platform Camp K12, also raised $4 million in a seed funding round from San Francisco-based venture capital firm Matrix Partners India and multi-stage investor SAIF Partners this month.
Also, in the previous month, Quality Tutorials, who is the owner and operator of the online classroom platform Lido Learning, raised $3 million from Madhur Deora, President of the digital payments firm Paytm, and Picus Capital, a German venture capital fund launched by Rocket Internet co-founder Alexander Samwer.
International Education Gateway, based in Hyderabad with its headquarters in the city, owns education courses aggregator Univariety, managed to raise $1.1 million in an ongoing Series A round from Info Edge India.
Also, going a little further behind in time, in January, Bayside Media, which operates a management training programme Seal Professional, raised an undisclosed amount in a seed funding round from venture capital fund Equanimity Ventures.
The start-ups are established by students, for students and democratise learning, definitely with the magic of technology.
Therefore, it is no surprise that at a time when all learning, work has shifted to online platforms, these edtech start-ups and other such e-commerce solutions are being promoted by investors to build a whole new era of education - teaching and learning.