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Education tech start-ups gaining investor attention

Mumbai, May 11: Education technology start-ups are seeing a spate of investor activities over the past few months with top venture capital firms validating their growth potential.

Since April, at least five start-ups in the education technology space have raised close to USD 40 million in initial funding. Last week, Fidelity, SAIF and Helion pumped USD 10 million into the online test preparation platform Toppr, while Accel and Tiger Global invested USD 5 million in online tutoring platform Vedantu.

In April, three other firms in the education technology space, including Simplilearn, Purple Squirrel and Nayi Disha raised significant amounts from investors. Mayfield along with Kalaari Capital and Helion Venture Partners invested USD 15 million in online certification courses platform Simplilearn, while Matrix pumped in an undisclosed sum into Purple Squirrel that organises industrial visits for college students.

Nayi Disha, which offers engaging learning modules for preschoolers, raised USD 2 million in seed funding. In the education technology arena, online test preparation is among the fastest growing segment, and has been getting substantial venture capital interest.

"The online test preparation market for students up to Class XII is valued at USD 8 billion and is growing as much as 20 percent a year, Zishaan Hayath, chief executive, and co-founder of Toppr said.

"K12 education, which is into primary and secondary education system, is a large space but served by individual teachers," Rahul Chowdhri of Helion Ventures, that has backed Toppr, said.

Education tech start-ups gaining investor attentio

"That is a hard model to scale and one needs a player who can democratise education in this country," he added. In March, Toppr expanded its network by acquiring competitor Easyprep.

The Mumbai-based Embibe, which had raised USD4 million last year from Kalaari Capital and Lightbox Ventures, too recently expanded its reach by acquiring competitor 100Marks.

"Embibe offers customised modules to students that aim at addressing specific weaknesses based on analytics. Through technology, we aim to capture through technology what coaching classes can miss out on," said Embibe founder and chief executive Aditi Avasthi.

Further, online test preparation platforms cost a third of the offline coaching class fee, making it a far affordable alternative, she said.

PTI

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