Let us discuss the funding of an edtech startup. We all know that the COVID 19 lockdown has seen the rise of a new industry- which is the edtech. Edtech stands for education and technology. It refers to the combination of IT tools and education practices that have an aim to increase and enhance the process of learning.
Today, classroom learning is not just about sitting in the physical class or using an old computer, it is way beyond it. Now interactive online classes and courses, tablets, and even robots, for taking notes and recording the classes for the students. According to a study, 92% of the teachers admit that technology is going to have a major impact on the way they will educate in the near future.
The biggest financier of education in the developing world is the World Bank Group (WBG). It has been working on education programs in more than 80 countries with an aim to provide quality education and opportunities lifetime to all.
The World Bank Group is in partnership with the governments and world organizations to support projects which promote innovation, research, and wise use of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the education system, which have eventually given birth to edtech, which is at the motive of strengthening learning and contributing in reducing poverty in the parts of the world.
Edtech industry in India
From the traditional Gurukul system to online education, the education industry of the country has come a really long way. Now, is the time of the edtech industry, the COVID 19 lockdown has given it a push and is showing an increasing trend since then.
The country currently has more than 3500 edtech startups, and the industry has witnessed a whopping USD 700 million in funding. The report published by KPMG IN 2021, the title of which was- Online Education in India:2021 report, said that the worth of the edtech industry of the country would be USD 1.96 billion by the end of the year 2021, showing a 52% CAGR growth from the year 2016, when its worth was USD 0.25 billion.
From January 2020 to mid-2021, the 3 edtech startups of the country have turned into unicorns and one into a decacorn. Since the year 2020, the edtech startups have seen funding of USD 4 funding, out of which USD 2.2 billion has been raised in the year 2020 and USD 1.9 billion has been raised between January-August 03,2021. In 2018, the first Indian edtech startup to turn a unicorn was Byju’s.
The current valuation of the startup is USD 16.5 billion, and thus ranked as the most valuable startup in the country, and the most valuable edtech startup in the world. In September 2020, the second edtech startup to turn a unicorn was Unacademy. Now, Vedantu, which is a kids’ live streaming platform is all in news to become the next unicorn.
Funding of 88academics
Now, let us talk about an edtech startup that was in news because of the funding it has received. The startup, 88academics, as announced on September 27, 2021, has raised a funding of USD 3 million. This round of funding was the pre-Series A round of funding and was led by Aarin Capital Partners.
The other participants of the round were Piyush Gupta, who is the CEO of DBS Group,Vinod Gupta, who is the MD of VG Learning Destination, P S Jayakumar, who is the ex-MD and CEO of Bank of Baroda, Ramesh Swaminathan, who is the Group CEO of Lupin, Ajay Abrol, who is the ex-Head Proprietary Training of Nomura Singapore, Prem Rajani, who is the Managing Partner of Rajani Associates, Akshay Gupta, and N Jaykumar, who are in the Management Team of Prime Securities
Prime Securities Ltd was the exclusive Investment Banker to this transaction. The startup is planning to use the funds raised in developing the content for the K-12 segment which will be India specific.
About the newly funded edtech startup
The startup, 88academics, is founded by former 3i Asia head, Anil Ahuja, who is also the CEO of the startup. The startup is a part of 88tutuion, which is a Singapore-based online learning platform. The startup has been established with the social objective of making quality-based video learning material available to all Indian students.
The startup understands that the current tuition options in the country are expensive and can be afforded only by upper classes, thus the students belonging to the middle class and poor families are at disadvantage. The startup is using technology to make sure that education is available and accessible to all.
The curriculum developed by the startup will be in line and in accordance with the New Education Policy 2020. The focus of the startup is to build a strong foundation for the young students and make sure that it is accessible to all Indian students. It is promoted by professionals who have more than 30 years of experience in teaching, who are led by Mr. Vinod Gupta, who is a leading academician for the course of Chartered Accountancy in India for the last 30 years.
The mission of the New Delhi-based startup is to “empower every Indian student to achieve full potential”. The startup is engaged in providing students with high-quality enrichment for English, Mathematics, Science, Information Technology, and Mother Tongue. The startup has been founded with the social objective of making high-quality technology-based learning content available to all Indian students.
It sets out to address the 5 key concerts, which are Cost, Convenience, Competence, Content, and Comfort, which are plaguing the current education and tuition systems. Using analytics, computer assessments, and some of the best video technologies in the world, the startup is engaged in developing a comprehensive solution that could make life easier for students and their families.
The special attention in the content will be to building a strong foundation for Maths and IT skills. The key features of the education model of the startup are-
Basis of Content– The content will be developed in the line with NEP-2020 and the initial focus will be on the students up to the age of 11.
Teaching Methodology– The model adopted by the startup is- TAR Model, which stands for Teach, Assess, and Review. Each module will start with a teaching section in which concepts will be taught (Teach). This will be then followed by the Assessment of each student and then the review.
Latest Technology– The best technology in the world is used by the startup which will be used for delivering the modules and developing the product with a mobile-first mindset to ensure wide reach and availability.
Affordable Price– The students shall be provided education in all the subjects- Mathematics, Science, English, and regional language.
Online Delivery– The mode of teaching will be online, which will not just be restricted to laptops and tablets. The application of the startup is in progress, through which the students will be able to download lectures on their devices.
Employment Generation– The best teachers across the country are hired for the purpose of developing the content and teaching. The startup is also planning to hire the academicians and leaders in education and technology for the project.
The startup, 88academics, is bringing the world’s best pedagogy to India, where courses are taught by the best teachers with expertise and experience, and conducted in an engaging manner in order to keep the students involved.
The startup is in partnership with DBS Bank, Singapore, the Indian Development Association, and People Association. It is also in the news that it will be soon in partnership with Manila, the capital of Philippines.
88tutuion has been established with the social objective of making quality video-based learning material available for all Singapore students. It creates a wonderful opportunity for students and parents to bond while engaging in a valuable learning activity. It offers more than 4,000 assessments, more than 7,500 videos, and more than 30,000 questions in order to help students.
It is one of the fastest-growing edtech companies in Singapore with a focus on delivering learning outcomes using a proprietary pedagogy and technology platform. They have helped 88tution capture more than 6% of the registered users and more than 2% of the paid customers of the Singapore market, which is famous for high competition.
About Prime Securities Ltd
Founded in 1982 by Jaideep Mehrotra, Prime Securities Ltd is a leading power of diversified, investment banking, and corporate advisory services, which are licensed and regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
It specializes in providing value-added services and advice to clients on complex strategic and financial decisions and transactions which are focused around Fund Raising, Mergers & Acquisitions, Initial Public Offerings, Corporate Advisory, and Capital Restructuring. It is on the mission to achieve its objectives in an environment of fairness and equity towards the clients, employees, and society at large.
Its vision is to be recognized as a group founded by knowledge, guided by integrity, nurtured by experience, and driven by our passion to provide personalized solutions in Investment Banking and Corporate Advisory Services.
About Anil Ahuja
Anil Ahuja is the founder and the CEO of 88tutions. He is a B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has been a partner at JP Morgan Partners and 3i Asia. he has also been the CEO of IPEplus Advisors. He has also been the Vice President at Citibank.
What has been said about the deal?
Anil Ahuja, who is the founder and the CEO of 88tution, made a comment saying that he is honoured to welcome Aarin and other high-quality investors into the family. He further said that the objective is to democratise education and make the highest quality product available to everyone at an affordable price.
TV Mohandas Pai, who is the partner at Aarin Capital Partners made a statement saying that they look for the partner technology-intensive business in life sciences, and healthcare, education, and other potentially large India-centric or India-first companies. He further said that the startup, 88academics, gives them the opportunity to invest in a sector that is well known and backed by a highly experienced management team with a differentiated product and a disruptive business model.
The startup is operating in one of the sought after industries of the current time, and we wish it nothing but good luck and a bright future.
Edited by Sanjana Simlai.