Bunch Microtechnologies, a Delhi-based startup that provides software solutions for coaching centres and tutors under the brand Classplus, has raised $2.5 million in a seed round from Blume Ventures and Sequoia Capital India’s accelerator programme Surge.
Angel investors in the round included Kunal Shah, founder of Cred and Freecharge, Alvin Tse, general manager, Xiaomi-Indonesia and Eric Kwan, partner at Locus Ventures.
Classplus will use the capital to strengthen its talent pool across engineering, product and business verticals, Mukul Rustagi, co-founder of Classplus said in a statement.
In May, Bunch Microtechnologies raised a seed round of $1.6 million led by Times Internet and GREE Ventures, a Singapore-based venture capital fund. Japanese early-stage venture capital firm Spiral Ventures and previous investor Rising Stars Fund from the Netherlands also joined the funding round.
Founded by Rustagi and Bhaswat Agarwal, Classplus offers software-as-a-service (SaaS) mobile solutions for independent tutors and coaching institutes to help them run their curriculum through an app.
An IIT Roorkee alumni, Rustagi has pursued derivatives' trading across the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in the past while Agarwal, an NSIT graduate, has worked with Microsoft India Education as a technology-strategist for their learning-based products.
Before launching Classplus, the duo ran a tutor enablement platform named XPrep. It had raised an undisclosed amount in September 2017 from a group of investors including Rising Stars, Manish Amin, co-founder of travel portal Yatra, Pallav Pandey, co-founder of telephony startup Knowlarity and Chavi Jafa, head of business solutions, South Asia, payments firm Visa.
Classplus helps brick and mortar coaching centres go online and manage pre- and post-classroom engagement with students. On the platform, tutors can run communication, payments, assessments and online learning programmes on a full-stack mobile solution, which becomes their online content repository. It also acts as a digital distribution platform for educational content and products, enabling tutors to set up e-commerce channels that make video content and online assessments available to their students.
TechCirlce had reported about this fundraise when Sajith Pai, director at Blume Ventures, made an announcement in a LinkedIn post in October last year. He had said the startup has created a three lakh strong user base, which it would leverage to introduce a line of products and services such as premium personalised content, testing services, college discovery and loans.
Presently, over 3000 tutors across 50 Indian cities use Classplus to cater to over five lakh students, the company claims.
Classplus is part of the second cohort of Sequoia Capital India’s accelerator programme Surge. The 16-week programme helps startups with mentoring and networking among several other support areas. In addition, Surge invests $1-2 million in each startup at the start of the programme. At the end of the programme, the startups also get an opportunity to raise more capital from a curated set of investors through a week-long initiative called UpSurge.
Blume Ventures, founded in 2011 by Karthik Reddy and Sanjay Nath, is a Mumbai-based venture capital fund that focuses on technology startups based primarily in India. One of the most active investors in the country, Blume Venture’s recent investments include online primary healthcare services aggregator HealthAssure, higher education counselling platform Leverage Edu, commodities platform Procol, and professional networking startup TapChief.