Ed-tech startup Testbook raises $8.3 mn from Iron Pillar

Ed-tech startup Testbook raises $8.3 mn from Iron Pillar
Ashutosh Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO, Testbook

Testbook Edu Solutions, which owns Testbook, an ed-tech platform for competitive exam preparation, has raised $8.3 million in a Series B round led by venture capital firm Iron Pillar.

Returning investors including early-stage investment firms Matrix Partners India, Better Capital, and AngelList India. Reliance Jio Infocomm president Vikas Choudhury also participated in the round.

With the latest round, the company has raised $5.5 million, as per data available with VCCEdge. Angel investment firms Ah! Ventures and Singapore Angel Network, and textbook publishing company S Chand have previously invested in the company.

Testbook was founded in 2014 by IIT-Bombay and IIT-Delhi graduates Ashutosh Kumar, Narendra Agarwal, Yadavendra Champavat, Abhishek Sagar, Manoj Munna and Praveen Agarwal. The platform provides online learning, practice and assessment to students preparing for competitive exams such as IBPS (Institute of Banking Personnel Selection) probationary officer, Staff Selection Commission and the Indian Railways.

It claims to have over 10 million users till date and 50,000 monthly paying students. The company pegs the market size for job preparations at $7 billion, with over 90 million aspirants looking for entry-level and government  jobs each year.

Testbook operates through products such as a comprehensive live course with study plan, platform-wise subscriptions for courses, mock tests and digital sample papers.

“Testbook has been the most popular brand for millions of government job aspirants for its high-quality and affordable mock tests, and we are now receiving the same response from students for our live courses, which we believe will be 10x better in the coming days,” Kumar co-founder of Testbook, said in a statement.

Using the latest funding, the company will scale its live courses and mock tests from the current 100 exams to 400 exams. It will also build partnerships with educational institutions for content, and invest in data science and machine learning to make the learning cycle adaptive for students.

“This investment fits well with Iron Pillar’s approach of backing visionary entrepreneurs who are driving innovation, and have proven execution and capital efficiency,” Sameer Nath, managing partner of Iron Pillar, said.

Iron Pillar, which generally invests in early- and mid-stage startups, has invested in meat and fish e-retailer FreshtoHome, technology startup NowFloats and after-sales services for electronics firm Servify.

“Over the past two years, they have successfully transitioned from a test-prep company to a full-blown online learning platform – all achieved while being highly capital-efficient and with strong unit economics,” Rajat Agarwal, director, Matrix Partners India, said.

Reliance Industries-backed Embibe, which provides online training for various competitive exams and entrance exams, is likely to enter the space. The Indiavidual Learning-owned platform is said to be in talks to acquire MockBank, a platform for public sector bank exams. Recently, Embibe also acquired Funtoot, an online platform for mathematics and science.

Among other deals, Delhi-based Aakash Educational Services earlier this week acquired a majority stake in Meritnation, a platform providing online coaching to school students. In December, Naspers-backed ed-tech Unicorn Byju’s significantly reduced its losses without impacting its spending while upskilling platform Springboard raised $11 million from Reach Capital.

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