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Edtech Startup 21K School Raises $5 Mn From upGrad Cofounder Ronnie Screwvala

Edtech Startup 21K School Raises $5 Mn From upGrad Cofounder Ronnie Screwvala

The startup aims to deploy the funds to boost its outreach to Indian and abroad students

Founded in 2020, 21K School has over 2,750 students enrolled from over 400 cities across India and 23 countries, so far

The Bengaluru-based startup offers online school education to children aged between 3 to 18 years, offering a choice of three curriculums – Indian, American and British

Online-only school startup 21K School has raised Pre Series A funding of $5 Mn from Ronnie Screwvala, cofounder and chairman, upGrad. 

The startup aims to deploy the funds to augment its outreach to students in India and abroad and strengthen its learning platform for data-driven instruction across all curriculums. 21K School is targeting to scale 10X to over 25,000 to 30,000 admissions in the next academic year, said a company statement.

Founded in 2020 by Santosh Kumar, Yeshwanth Raj Parasmal, Dinesh Kumar and Joshi Kumar provides a 100% online school offering to children aged between 3 to 18 years, along with a choice of selecting from three curricula – Indian, American and British.

21K School claims to be a category creator for K-12 education with personalised, affordable and flexible schooling for students regardless of their location or time zone. 

The Bengaluru-based startup has over 2,750 students enrolled from over 400 cities across India and 23 countries, so far. 

Speaking about the investment funding, Santosh Kumar, cofounder & Chief Executive Officer, 21K School, said, “The investment by Ronnie will help us reach out to over 18 million Indians living abroad with an opportunity to study the increasingly popular Indian curriculum while they continue to live overseas.”

Yeshwanth Raj Parasmal, cofounder & Chief Operating Officer, 21K School, added by saying, “The investment will help us strengthen our flexible, personalised and transparent education model.”

The statement said that 21K School blends technology, neuroscience and AI to create data-driven instruction for students using proprietary learning management system (LMS), Personalised Learning Engine, Assessment Engine and curriculum content. 

Intending to replicate the formal K-12 school experience online, 21K School teaches all core subjects and skill-based activities. Conducting regular assessments for its students, 21K School also includes computational thinking, coding, yoga, dance, music, among others as an integral part of schooling.

Robust Growth In Edtech Space

The edtech space has witnessed a robust growth since the disruption to conventional education amid the pandemic. The upward trajectory in demand has also resulted in a flurry of investments and acquisitions. The sector already has five unicorns in India. 

Along with Screwvala-led upGrad, Vedantu and Eruditus too entered the unicorn club in 2021.

Further, Chennai-based online learning platform Veranda Learning Solutions, earlier this month also joined the queue of IPO-bound new-age digital companies in the country and has filed its draft red herring prospectus with SEBI for INR 200 Cr IPO.

According to Inc42 Plus analysis, in the first three quarters of 2021, Indian edtech startups have raised close to $3.2 Bn in investments. The edtech sector, in Q3 FY22 alone, witnessed 1.4 Bn in funding across 44 deals.

Given the uncertainty around schools, colleges and other educational institutions reopening, edtech startups are expected to witness growth in user base and venture capital funding.

Further, Inc42 Plus analysis shows that the market size of edtech in India is estimated to grow 3.7x in the next five years, from $2.8 Bn (2020) to $10.4 Bn (2025). Amid the $10 Bn market size, K12 learning solutions are expected to account for 41% of the total edtech market.

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