Matrix Partners leads funding round in edtech startup Pesto

Matrix Partners leads funding round in edtech startup Pesto
Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Pixabay
2 May, 2019

Pesto, a career accelerator for software engineers in India, has raised an undisclosed amount in a round led by venture capital firm Matrix Partners India, to uplift software engineering talent, the startup said in a statement.

The round also saw participation from Sriharsha Majety, Rahul Jaimani and Nandan Reddy, founders of online food delivery startup Swiggy; Ritesh Malik, founder of co-working space provider Innov8; Ashish Tulsian, founder of POS software management firm Posist; and Jack Yeung, founder of OIC Capital among other angel investors.

Founded in March 2017 by Ayush Jaiswal and Andrew Linfoot, Pesto provides software engineering talent a 12-week training programme and helps them break into international technology careers via full-time remote jobs.

“Pesto is on a mission to change the lives of engineers in developing countries, starting with 5.2 million engineers of India,” the statement added.

After going through the Pesto programme, the startup claims that a graduate gets on an average 6x increase in their salary. There is no upfront fee to be paid for the programme. Instead, the company takes a fixed percentage of the engineer’s salary for the next three years through an income share agreement. This way the company wins only if the graduates are successful.

“There’s a severe shortage of tech talent in certain parts of the world (US, Canada, Europe, etc.) and we believe that India has a large number of undiscovered tech talent that can fill this gap. We believe it’s an incredible opportunity and we have truly exciting times ahead of us,” said Jaiswal, co-founder of Pesto.

Before setting up Pesto, Jaiswal was the country head for Startup Grind India, an accelerator and global community for entrepreneurs while Linfoot was head of technology at Vayner Media Company in New York.

Delhi-based Pesto has already started a batch from January this year and has started accepting students on a rolling basis. Students undergo one month of classroom learning, build a real application and work on an open-source apprenticeship with Pesto’s international partners. After completing the training, Pesto helps students get coding assignments in US tech companies.

“Apart from technical skills, we teach students about cultural differences between the US and India, how to be better communicators, how to manage their time in a remote work environment, etc. However, the unique thing about Pesto is the fact that the whole training program is designed to create a change in mindset,” said Linfoot, co-founder of Pesto.

Recent deals in ed-tech:

  • April 2019: Mumbai-based ed-tech startup WhiteHat Jr raised Rs 9 crore ($1.3 million) in a seed funding round from venture capital firm Nexus Venture Partners and early-stage investment firm Omidyar Network India Advisors.
  • April 2019: E-commerce giant Flipkart’s chief executive officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy topped up his investment in Benagluru based online learning platform Unacademy.
  • March 2019: Quiz-based learning ed-tech startup iChamp raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-Series A funding round led by Raju Shukla, chief executive officer at Singapore-based Ariana Investment Management.

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