Edtech startup Sunstone Eduversity has raked in INR 11.35 Cr (approximately $1.5 Mn) in seed funding led by Prime Venture Partners. The funding saw participation from LetsVenture, PS1 Ventures and Rajul Garg. The fresh capital will be used to build colleges across various cities and scale up the technology-based curriculum to create industry-ready professionals.
The Gurugram-based startup is planning to achieve 7x growth in student enrollments and add more than 2K students to its rosters across nine cities in 2020. “Our business model focuses on producing industry-ready professionals who can start contributing to an organisation’s success right at the start of their career. By bringing in the pay-after-placement model, we are making higher education accountable. This is the only higher education programme where the success of the education provider is completely aligned with the student’s success,” cofounder of Sunstone Eduversity Ashish Munjal told Inc42.
Founded by Ashish Munjal and Piyush Nangru in 2015, Sunstone Eduversity primarily focuses on equipping students with expertise to tackle everyday business problems across verticals. The startup’s pay-after-placement model is based on partnership with five colleges and private universities in three cities. It plans to partner with 10 more colleges soon. Sunstone Eduversity also has corporate tie-ups to develop specialisations such as BFSI, logistics, sales management, digital marketing and others.
How Sunstone Eduversity’s Pay-After-Placement Model Works
Sunstone Eduversity’s pay-after-placement model allows students to focus on completing the course rather than worry about financing their higher education. At the time of enrollment, a registration fee of INR 65K is charged for the two-year full-time programme. On completion of the course and only after getting a job, the student is required to pay the fee, which is 10x the monthly salary they bag in the placement round. This can be paid in instalments and the startup will also help placed students get financing help for the fee.
According to a McKinsey study, 25 Mn to 50 Mn jobs will be created in emerging tech worldwide and India alone will require 6 Mn to 12 Mn jobs in this space in the next decade. Global predictions say that artificial intelligence may soon turn the existing jobs obsolete. However, for India, the tech skill gap seems to be a more challenging issue currently and startups lately have been focusing on bridging the gap.
The startup’s pay-after-placement helps students upskill and reskill themselves by taking up higher education. With the growing number of new-age businesses and dynamic job profiles, the requirement of graduates with high-level domain knowledge and core competencies is the need of the hour.
However, financing is a problem faced by many students in our country. This is where Sunstone Eduversity’s business model seems to find takers. There is an increased investor interest as well in such unique business models. “Higher education in India has hardly seen any innovation whether in curriculum or in methodology in the last few decades. With one of the largest youth workforce in the world and rapidly evolving new-age jobs and businesses, there is a dire need for industry-ready professionals in India. Sunstone is addressing this with technology-led pedagogy and a highly attractive business model,” managing partner of Prime Venture Partners Amit Somani told Inc42.
Sunstone Eduversity also works closely with various corporates and corporate leaders to design the curriculum according to industry needs.