In its first India investment, James Murdoch-led private investment firm Lupa Systems has acquired a majority stake in ed-tech startup Harappa Education.
The New York- and Mumbai-headquartered firm had, in 2019, invested in the US and the UK, including media companies Tribeca Enterprises and Vice Media, virtual and augmented reality startup The Void and data analytics firm Percepient.ai.
Through the funding, Harappa Education plans to speed up its product development, invest in high-quality curriculum creation and significantly scale its operations, a statement said.
The company did not disclose the financial details of the investment.
Founded in 2018 by Pramath Raj Sinha and Shreyasi Singh, the platform provides soft-skill techniques to young professionals, irrespective of their area of specialisation. Harappa Education aims to impart cognitive, social and behavioral skills sought by employers. It operates through a curriculum of five habits and 25 skills through an online-first approach.
“Harappa has to become a pre-eminent online learning institution with a curriculum that is both foundational and unique. Pramath’s passion and track record of establishing pioneering higher education institutions set us up well to build a unique enterprise,” James Murdoch, founder of Lupa Systems, said.
The platform went live on April 15, 2019 and launched 14 courses. Since its operational launch, Harappa Education claims to have on-boarded 50 faculties and enrolled 1,500 students. It also claims to have a staff strength of 54 and tie-ups with 12 institution partners such as engineering colleges and business schools.
“I am looking forward to a strong partnership with James and his team. Their validation is a tremendous source of strength for us and fuels our passion to drive transformational learning outcomes at scale,” Pramath Raj Sinha, founder and chairman of Harappa Education, said.
In July 2019, skilling platform Caymus Technology Ventures raised $174,000 in an angel round from a clutch of investors from Silicon Valley and India, while learning and skill-tracking platform Degreed in June raised $35 million in a funding round from Owl Ventures, Jump Capital and Signal Peak Ventures, among others.
In December, Reliance Industries-owned Embibe acquired online platform for mathematics and science Funtoot for $10 million. Delhi-based Aakash Educational Services earlier this week acquired a majority stake in Meritnation, a platform providing online coaching to school students. Upskilling platform Springboard, which provides training to mid-level professionals in courses such as design, analytics, data science, raised $11 million from education-focused investor Reach Capital.
Disclosure: James Murdoch's father Rupert Murdoch is the owner of Mosaic Digital that publishes TechCircle, through News Corp.