Bengaluru-based edtech company iNurture has raised $4.3 Mn in its Series C funding round. The round was led by Ventureast along with existing investors Bertelsmann India Investments and Ascent Capital.
iNurture plans to use these funds to expand its unique e-Learning platform for Skill Centers and Distance Learning, and to expand its managed campuses business.
As Ashwin Ajila, Founder and Managing Director, iNurture said, “The new funds will be used to strengthen and grow our unique e-Learning platform. This platform will enable us to offer additional services such as skill centers and distance learning programs to not only our existing university partners but also to the affiliated colleges.”
Founded in 2007, iNurture offers a wide selection of industry-relevant courses, in association with leading universities/colleges across India. The company holds partnerships with more than 30 academic institutions across the country and more than 6,000 students are currently pursuing its programs.
Dr. Srikanth Sundararajan, General Partner at Ventureast, further added, “iNurture have the right combination of an online and offline model which is also aligned with the official curriculum provided by AICTE. They are perfectly positioned to meet the needs of the next generation workforce which they can offer in the context of a regular degree program.”
iNurture raised its seed capital of $1.3 Mn from BDMI in October 2014. After this in April 2017, iNurture raised $1.5 Mn in debt financing from BlackSoil. Prior to this, iNurture has raised funds from Bertelsmann India Investments, Ascent Capital, BlackSoil Capital and GVFL Limited as claimed by the company in an official statement.
Earlier, the company also signed a joint-venture agreement with Galileo (a global higher education company) to offer additional programs. It also launched the e-Learning platform for existing university partners.
Ventureast has been investing since 1997 and has invested nearly $400 Mn in the country. The company has a diverse portfolio of more than 100 investments in Technology, Healthcare, and Clean Environment. Recently, it led a round of investment in Hyderabad-based healthcare startup eKincare.
As per Inc42’s Annual Indian Tech Startup Funding Report 2017, edtech startups have already garnered $466 Mn funding from 2014-2017.
Here, iNurture competes with startups like GreyAtom, AEON Learning, Univariety etc. which have also recently completed their funding rounds.
GreyAtom provides an onsite school focused on providing industry-relevant programs on emerging technologies. It raised $1 Mn in funding round recently. Rubix108 Technologies, on the other hand, has an interactive and collaborative platform for the entire education ecosystem, including teachers, parents, administrators, and merchants, among others. It also secured $1 Mn Pre-Series A funding recently.
Another player, Univariety is envisioned as an online marketplace with students at the centre of the college admission process. It recently received $1.9 Mn funding from Info Edge.
The online education market is expected to touch $1.96 Bn by 2021, a KPMG-Google report released in May 2017 said. Re-skilling and online certification courses currently account for a majority (38%) of the online higher education market, the report added.
Edtech has been a growing industry, with an increasing access to innovation and technology. With the recent funding in iNurture, it is to be seen what next courses and technologies do they evolve.