Bangalore-based e-learning Vedantu has raised $11 million in a Series B funding round led by Silicon Valley impact investment firm Omidyar Network and also contributed by its existing investor Accel Partners, announced Vamsi Krishna, CEO & co-founder of Vedantu, in an interview to LiveMint.
The freshly raised funds will be used the startup for technology expansion and deeper penetration in tier 2 and 3 cities.
Founded in 2011, by four friends from Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) — Vamsi Krishna, Pulkit Jain, Saurabh Saxena and Anand Prakash, Vedantu is a live online tutoring platform that enables personalized learningby using technology to bring together teachers and students on a single platform to enable live learning between them.
The startup had raised its first round of funding after six months of current operational format. It then raised $5 million from Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management in its Series A funding in May 2015.
TDerived from two Sanskrit words Veda (Knowledge) + Tantu (Network), Vedantu signifies a ‘Knowledge Network’ where any student can tap into a teacher of his choice directly and the learning can happen, anytime-anywhere. Vedantu has an online portal, where teachers tutor students in group and one-on-one sessions. An hour’s group session costs Rs 50-150 and a private session costs Rs300-600. “Our group sessions are doing very well in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. That is why a major amount of this funding will go into expanding in that market,” said Krishna.
The technological development will aim to make the sessions more personalized. The platform will track aspects like a student’s attention span and concept understanding using machine learning, facial recognition and others.
Prior to launching Vedantu, the co-founders previously co-founded Lakshya, a test preparation coaching company, in 2006 which later got acquired by MT Educare (Mahesh Tutorials) in 2012. As part of Lakshya the founders taught and mentored more than 10,000 students and trained more than 200 teachers between them.
Currently tutoring students from 6th to 12th grade, Vedantu plans to enter into exams categories like GMAT and GRE. The Vedantu app is operational in 80 cities including Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi with students from 36 countries and 1,200 cities.
The online education sector in India is estimated to grow at a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 52% to $1.96 billion by 2021, according a joint study by Google and KPMG.
Vedantu competes with online education startups including Byjus, Unacademy , Meritnation, Cuemath and Toppr, among others.
In May this year, Omidyar Network had announced six new investments in the first four months of 2018 — Doubtnut, Pratilipi, Healofy, Vedantu, Kaleidofin, and Affordplan–all of which align with the firm’s goal of supporting entrepreneurs that serve the Next Half Billion.
Founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Omidyar Network has recently announced about its plan to invest close to $250 million in Indian startup ventures and organizations over the next 4-5 years.
[Top Image – Vedantu co-founders | Credit – officechai.com]