Bengaluru-based edtech startup IMAX Program has raised $13.5 Mn (INR 87 Cr) funding from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and PE investment firm LGT Impact Ventures. The company’s existing investor Aspada also participated in the round.

As per reports, the newly-secured capital will be spent on product innovation and expansion of IMAX Program’s customer base through multiple distribution channels.

With the funding, IMAX is also looking to team up with school publishers globally.

Commenting on the investment, Prachi Windlass, Director of India Programs at Michael & Susan Dell Foundation said, “We need models that leverage technology for applying data and analytics to improve learning outcomes for every student. However, there are genuine challenges in implementing such models due to variety in curriculum, pedagogy and assessments across multiple states in the country.”

“IMAX Program’s full-stack learning system has demonstrated that it can achieve scale and be adopted successfully in schools,” Prachi added.

IMAX: Assisting Teachers To Make The Learning Process More Efficient

Founded by Varun Kumar along with Naveen Mandava in 2009, IMAX is an edtech startup that is striving to revolutionise education delivery in the country. The company works with schools and other institutions, supporting them with learning materials and processes that are designed to create an interconnected system to drive learning.

Apart from providing teacher manuals and training modules, the startup offers textbooks, workbooks, school exams, feedback reports as well as personalised remedial worksheets that help make the learning process more efficient.

As stated by co-founder Varun Kumar, the platform’s exam-remediation system is created to ensure that the learning gaps of students are properly identified and addressed.

Catering to all grades from kindergarten to class 9, IMAX currently works with around 300K students across 800 schools in India. The edtech startup is aiming to reach up to 2 Mn students by 2020.

The startup plans to use the funding towards expanding reach and for product innovation. It currently caters to schools in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. It is further looking to expand to Kerala, Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. As claimed, 90% of schools are state board and are in tier II and tier III cities.

Startups Leveraging Technology To Enhance Access To Education

Online education in India will see approximately 8x growth in the next five years, says a recent report by Google, KPMG. This will have a significant impact on the edtech market that has a potential to touch $1.96 Bn by 2021 from where it stands now i.e. $247 Mn.

In 2017, the country’s education market underwent substantial growth, with a lot of startups expanding into tier II and tier III cities in order to create a social impact. Instead of focussing on the academic curriculum, a number of startups are now working to provide personality development and career counselling services.

In the edtech space, IMAX Program competes with players like BYJU’S, Unacademy, UCLID, Avagmah, Embibe, iProf, Simplilearn, Meritnation, Toppr, NeoStencil and Englishleap, among others.

As per Inc42 Datalabs, the sector saw a total infusion of $206 Mn through 48 deals in 2017.

Among the edtech startups that raised fundings over the last few months are Univariety ($1.9 Mn), Springboard ($9.5 Mn), Meritnation ($5.8 Mn), Toppr ($6.92 Mn), Rubix108 Technologies ($1 Mn) and many others. As part of one of the biggest edtech acquisitions last year, Bengaluru-based edtech firm AEON Learning took over Acadgild in an all-stock deal worth $10 Mn.

While most edtech startups work on building student-focussed solutions, IMAX’s USP lies in the fact that it is trying to assist teachers by making the learning process more streamlined. How it utilises the $13.5 Mn funding from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and others remains to be seen.

(The development was reported by ET)

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