Sparsha Gets Seed Funding From Blume Ventures, Tempus Capital
Sparsha is a learning technology start-up, founded by Debabrata Bagchi (IIT Kharagpur) and Kapil Kaushik (IIT Delhi), with headquarters at the Science & Technology Entrepreneurs Park (STEP) at IIT Kharagpur. The company also runs a research and development unit in Bangalore. It works with education content providers, publishers, e-learning companies, universities and autonomous institutions and develops activity-based learning solutions for K-12 and higher education domains.
The proceeds of the funds would be used for further product development, including courses for other streams and subjects, both technical and non-technical, Debabrata Bagchi, co-founder and CEO of Sparsha told VCCircle.
Blume Ventures and Tempus Capital would also share a board seat on a rotating basis, he added.
Sparsha products focus on simulation-based learning and combines technology with the social aspect of human interaction to create interesting and engaging learning experience. The company's flagship product iLearnmore for analogue electronics suite helps students understand the entire concept in a simple and organised manner.
"Product licensing is done on per course/per student basis. We have now tied up with eight colleges in India and plan to add a few more during this fiscal," added Bagchi.
Incidentally, education service firms have been attracting funds from strategic casino spiele corporate investors, as well as private equity firms.
The education sector has seen an increasing interest from PE players, with investments of $190 million across 23 deals in 2010, as compared to 10 deals worth $128 million in 2009, according to VCCedge, the financial research platform of VCCircle.
There are several education-focused PE funds, as well as generic growth capital funds, who are now eyeing this space. For instance, Kaizen Private Equity, which is raising a $100 million fund for the sector, has secured funding from HDFC, India's largest mortgage lender, and World Bank body International Finance Corporation (IFC). Another player is Milestone Religare, with dual focus on education and healthcare.
Earlier this month, private equity firm Ascent Capital Advisors also invested Rs 150 crore in Hyderabad-based Oakridge International School for an undisclosed stake.