Byju’s backer Owl Ventures leads Series C funding in SplashLearn

Byju’s backer Owl Ventures leads Series C funding in SplashLearn
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9 Feb, 2021

SplashLearn, an edtech firm formerly known as Splash Math, on Tuesday said it has raised $18 million (Rs 131 crore) as part of its Series C funding round.

The funding was led by San Francisco-based venture capital firm Owl Ventures, which has backed Indian edtech unicorn Byju's, said SplashLearn in a statement. Existing investor Accel also participated in this round, it added.

SplashLearn is operated by US-based Studypad Inc. Studypad India Pvt Ltd is the local subsidiary and its over 225 employees are in the country. 

The startup was launched in 2011 by Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) graduates Arpit Jain, Joy Deep Nath, Mayank Jain and Umang Jain.

The fresh capital will primarily be used for growth and scaling a new vertical -- tutoring -- said Arpit Jain, CEO and co-founder of SplashLearn.

The company started by helping children master basic math using animation, graphics and games. In the latter part of last year, it went beyond the math programme to include reading and launched a personalised tutoring product.

SplashLearn said that it witnessed a jump of around 3 times in adoption because of Covid-19 in 2020. More than 10 million new users joined the SplashLearn programme last year, it claims. The demand came in not only from the US but also the UK, Australia, Canada and India.

The company said that the bulk of its business comes from the US.

SplashLearn said that it had raised Series B funding of $7 million from Accel previously. VCCircle had said in 2019 that Accel was striking this edtech deal.

Owl Ventures invests in education-technology companies across the spectrum. It has assets under management of $1.2 billion.

Owl Ventures had invested in Byju's in July 2019 marking the VC firm's debut bet in India.

Later that year, it invested in WhiteHat Jr.

WhiteHat Jr was acquired by Byju's in August last year for a whopping $300 million.

The investment in SplashLearn indicates a continued focus on edtech startups, with early-stage deals taking place at a rapid clip even as larger startups such as Unacademy and Byju’s make acquisitions.

Unacademy, which has joined the unicorn club, announced last month that its existing investors purchased shares worth $50 million (Rs 366 crore).

Also last month, BeyondSkool raised $2 million in seed funding from early-stage investment fund Tomorrow Capital and Kyt raised $5 million led by Alpha Wave Incubation.

Earlier this week, Newton School raised $5 million in a Series A funding round led by Russian venture capital firm RTP Global.