Delhi-based Earth Education Valley Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates the online education platform EduKart.com, has raised $500,000 in seed funding from a group of early-stage institutional and angel investors. These include French early-stage fund Kima Ventures, Amit and Arihant Patni (from Patni family), computer services firm AKM Systems, Vibhor Mehra (ex-partner at SAIF Partners) and Stanford University alumni.
Kima Ventures led the round, which also saw participation from existing investors Vijay Shekhar Sharma (founder of One97 Communications) and Manish Kheterpal (ex-director of Providence Capital). Sharma and Kheterpal had earlier invested $500,000 in the company.
The funds will be used to accelerate growth, launch new courses in partnership with Indian and international institutions and strengthen the company's franchisee network in the country.
Commenting on the development, EduKart CEO Ishan Gupta said, "We are glad to welcome the new investors in the current round. In just two years, EduKart has gone on to become one of the go-to destinations for online education in India. The capital raised will be deployed to accelerate our growth, further increase the franchisee network and launch new courses."
The startup was founded by Ishan Gupta (CEO) and Mayank Gupta (COO) (they are not related) in 2011. Ishan had earlier worked with companies like One97 Mobility Fund, Facebook, Helion Venture Partners, Quantum Hi-Tech and Appin Knowledge Solutions. He holds an MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a B.E. degree in Instrumentation & Control from Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology, Delhi. Mayank had worked with companies like L&T Infrastructure Finance, Bank of America, BodhiSutra and Educomp Solutions Ltd. He holds a PG diploma in Management, Finance & strategy from IIM Kozhikode.
EduKart delivers industry-relevant international programmes and certificate courses for working professionals and students pursuing higher education, so that they can learn relevant industry skills. The courses offered on the portal focus on retail management, digital marketing, financial management, programming languages and skill development. The company also has a 40-plus franchisee network across the country.
Jeremie Berrebi, co-founder and partner at Kima Ventures, said, "Online education is exploding across the world. We believe that India and other emerging economies have massive scope for leveraging online education to deliver high quality education to the large young demographics available in the countries. We are sure EduKart will continue to grow to become a larger player in the space going ahead."
Other investments in the education sector in 2013
May 30: Just yesterday, eDreams Edusoft Pvt Ltd, a Bangalore-based technology product startup catering to the education industry, raised $2 million in its second round of funding, led by Inventus Capital Partners. Existing investor Mumbai Angels also participated in the round.
May 22: Jaipur-based Intap Labs Pvt Ltd, which runs a cloud-based online language learning platform called CultureAlley, raised a seed round from Mumbai-based early-stage VC fund Kae Capital.
Feb 25: Info Edge (India) Ltd, the largest consumer internet firm in India by market value, infused an additional Rs 30 crore ($5.5 million) in Applect Learning Systems, which runs an online education and assessment venture through Meritnation. The deal valued Meritnation at around Rs 303 crore ($56 million). With the fresh investment, Info Edge's total exposure to Applect rose to Rs 61.5 crore and it now holds around 54 per cent stake in Applect.
Feb 23: Bangalore-based education technology startup Carveniche secured an angel funding of around Rs 1 crore from Mumbai Angels.
Feb 6: Learnpedia, a startup that provides digital learning solutions to students preparing for engineering entrance exams, received an undisclosed amount in funding from Ixora Ventures, a Delhi-based early-stage venture fund.
(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)