The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), a non-profit organisation headed by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, is reportedly in advance talks to invest in Mumbai-based edtech startup Eruditus.
According to a Moneycontrol report citing sources, CZI along with a clutch of US-based tech-focused funds to invest nearly $80 Mn at a valuation of $800 Mn to $850 Mn. The company plans to use this funding to expand to more countries, improve product functions, and make selective acquisitions.
Prior to this, the company was valued at $400 Mn last January, after raising $40 Mn in Series C round led by Sequoia Capital India. The round also saw participation from existing investor Bertelsmann India Investments.
The company was planning to use the Series C fundraise to increase its course offerings in technical subjects such as data science, machine learning, blockchain and cybersecurity. It also planned to expand its language offerings to include Portuguese and Mandarin, in addition to English and Spanish. Its investors also include Innoven Capital, which is the venture debt arm of Singapore state investment firm Temasek.
Founded in 2010 by Chaitanya Kalipatnapu and Ashwin Damera, Eruditus provides executive education programmes in association with global business schools such as MIT, Columbia, Harvard Business School, INSEAD, Tuck at Dartmouth, Wharton, UC Berkeley and London Business School. These programs are held for six to eight months and can be available via on campus, off campus and online modes.
The Moneycontrol report highlighted that Eruditus had recorded a revenue of $100 Mn in the financial year 2020, ending March. During the pandemic, the company has witnessed a growing demand of 30% quarter-on-quarter. A person aware of the matter, said, “Eruditus has been growing well and has been a real revenue business from Day 1. COVID has only boosted their business thesis. A well-known firm like CZI coming in indicates their long term view on the business and sector.”
According to Inc42 Plus, the Indian online learning market is expected to be worth $1.96 Bn by 2021. But the Covid-19 pandemic has given a further boost to this sector as the Indian government plans on keeping the school shut until December 2020 and has laid out a National Education Policy (NEP) giving a special focus on digital education and remote learning.
Edtech startups have seen massive growth and adoption in the past few months. According to SimilarWeb, based on a study of 35 top online learning platforms, the edtech segment saw a 26% increase in user visits between April 2019 to March 2020, as compared to April 2018 – March 2019. Further, the first 28 days of lockdown in India edtech segment saw 128.8 Mn visits (on average, 4.6Mn daily visits) as compared to 102.2 Mn average visits between April 2019 – February 2020.