Upskilling platform Springboard secures $31 mn from Telstra Ventures, others

Upskilling platform Springboard secures $31 mn from Telstra Ventures, others
L to R: Gautam Tambay & Parul Gupta , co-founders, Springboard
6 Aug, 2020

Bengaluru and San Francisco-based SlideRule Lab, which operates edtech startup Springboard, has raised $31 million in Series B funding led by new investor venture capital firm Telstra Ventures.

The round also saw participation from Vulcan Capital and SJF Ventures as well as returning investors Costanoa Ventures, Pearson Ventures, Reach Capital, International Finance Corporation (IFC), 500 Startups, Blue Fog Capital and Learn Capital, the company said in a statement. 

With the latest round, Springboard has raised a total of $54 million in funding so far. It last raised funds in December 2019 when Reach Capital, Pearson Ventures, IFC and others invested $11 million in the company. 

Springboard will use the capital to develop new hiring-focused products. It plans to grow its course offerings outside the high-tech industry to include additional skills gap disciplines. The company will also look to deepen its partnerships with universities and employers, enabling them to address their reskilling requirements in a post-pandemic economy.

“Technology used to be a niche area but that’s no longer the case. As more and more companies are built on technology, the need to understand concepts like data science, AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning), UI/UX (user interface) has become more homogenous,” Vivek Kumar, managing director at Springboard said. 

Launched in 2013 by Gautam Tambay and Parul Gupta, Springboard is an online platform for workforce upskilling. It offers courses for early- and mid-career professionals in analytics, data science, design, software engineering and other new economy fields. In 2019, it launched its services in India as its first geography outside the US. 

Springboard matches every student with a personalised mentor who provides weekly feedback. About 20,000 students across more than 100 countries have used its platform to advance their careers, it said.

“The education sector is facing a tectonic shift. As enterprises and countries alike seek more and better talent with digital skill sets, the technology training market is set to explode,” Albert Bielinko, Principal, at Telstra Ventures said.  

Springboard competes with Mumbai based upGrad. The edtech startup offers postgraduate and higher education certification courses to college students and professionals. It recently strengthened its top deck with new appointments. 

An emerging player in the edtech segment is Ernakulam, Kerala based Entri Software. The company runs a vernacular test preparation platform for job aspirants and recently closed a seed funding round, dubbed a pre-Series A round, at $3.1 million. 

In July, online test preparation and learning platform Unacademy acquired post graduate medical entrance exam preparation platform PrepLadder for $50 million. Around the same time, K-12 focused learning company Vedantu bagged $100 million in a growth funding round led by Coatue Management.