Indian Angel Network (IAN) has invested in online education company Rank Junction Pvt Ltd which runs RankJunction.com, a ranking platform for competitive exams. However, the investment amount has not been disclosed.
The husband-wife duo, Sameer and Rashmi Gautam, founded RankJunction in 2011 to create an innovative platform for 'Live' tests â€“ pre-scheduled online exams taken by thousands of users together. At the end of the test, students can see their all-India rankings, along with performance analyses.
IAN members Jay Chopde and Ravi Kiran will be joining the board of RankJunction as part of the deal.
"Sameer approached us late last year and since then the company has been performing well, which got us investing into the firm. Moreover, it focuses on a niche segment, competitive exams to be precise, and not test preparations and that was also appealing. Sameer exactly knows the gap he is addressing through RankJunction," said Ravi Kiran.
RankJunction.com provides a comprehensive testing platform for candidates of an upcoming exam. Here, they can come together at a pre-scheduled time, take the test and get their ranks in advance. Its 'Live Test' is an online mock test which replicates the pattern, number of users and the difficulty level of the actual exam, thus helping users understand their preparation level and how they will fare among total candidates appearing for that exam.
The Gautams started with medical PG entrance exams and have ambitious plans to expand into other domains like NEET UG, JEE Mains, CMAT, CTET, CSAT and Bank PO.
"We have around 100,000 users at present and we are adding 6,000-10,000 users every month. We also plan to go global soon for scaling up," said Sameer Gautam. The company currently has 26 employees on board.
He also added that the investment raised would be primarily used for strengthening product development. It would also help scale up the business by launching more paid tests, bringing more coaching classes online, creating alternative distribution channels and additional new courses for students.
"At present, we get our revenues from students only but going forward, we will be also earning through advertisement space selling and online coaching classes," said Gupta.
Commenting on the development, IAN president Padmaja Ruparel said, "The company's aspiration to go international was appealing to us. In the past, we have invested in education startups like Aurus Network and it has been a good experience. "
IAN's Jay Chopde said, "Considering the intensity of competition among the students today, there is need of a platform like RankJunction which can help them work towards getting higher ranks, giving them an absolute evaluation of their preparations."
Prior to starting RankJunction, Gautam co-founded 50HoursOnline.com, an e-learning portal for the insurance industry. Before venturing into entrepreneurship, he had worked for ICICI Prudential Life Insurance as a managing partner. Rashmi holds a doctorate degree in Physics and brings with her the combined experience of academics and project management.
This is IAN's second investment this year. A few weeks ago, it joined US-based VC firm Madrona Venture Group (which was an early investor in e-commerce giant Amazon Inc) for a Series A round worth $4 million in Mobilewalla, a search portal for mobile apps. Also, it recently swapped the holding in Jigsee with Vuclip where the latter acquired Jigsee in an all-stock deal.
Last year, IAN backed some 14 startups, investing around $11 million in the process. It has more than 200 angel investors as members and has funded over 45 startups across sectors till date.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)