Hyderabad-based edtech startup NxtWave has raised $2.8 Mn in a Pre Series A funding round led by Orios Venture Partners and Better Capital.
Ravi Bhushan (BrightChamps), Ramakant Sharma (LivSpace), Vikram Kailas (Mytrah Energy), Umang Kumar (president, CarDekho), Chakradhar Gade (cofounder, Country Delight), Anupam Mittal (Shaadi.com), Vikas Malpani (Leher and Commonfloor), Rajesh Shawney (GSF Accelerator), Nandu Nandkishore (ISB professor and Nestlé Nutrition formerly) and Shaji Devakar (IIFL Wealth) and Giridhar Malpani (Climber Capital) also participated in the round.
Founded in 2020 by Sashank Reddy Gujjula, Anupam Pedarla, and Rahul Attuluri, NxtWave offers asynchronous, vernacular-language online cohort-based training programs for Industry 4.0 tech careers tracks to college students, graduates and early professionals.
According to the startup, it has an active student community of 200,000 students across 250 districts, with more than 85% of them coming from non-metro regions. NxtWave claims that more than 250 companies, including Google and Jio, have hired NxtWave graduates.
The startup also claims that it is bootstrapped, cash-flow positive and has grown 900% in the last ten months. It plans to utilise the freshly-infused capital towards expanding its team, accelerating product development and penetrating further into existing markets.
“We believe that the Digital Pedagogy must be radically different for small-town India to create transformative learning experiences. To achieve this, we have adopted a multi-pronged approach in designing our Continuous Career Building Programs leveraging technology, pedagogy and vernacular content,” said Rahul Attuluri, CEO of NxtWave.
Industry 4.0 refers to a new phase in the Industrial era that focuses on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data. It combines physical production, smart digital technology, machine learning, and big data to create a connected ecosystem.
“Every year, India sees 10mn + engineering students graduate from small- town India’s numerous engineering colleges. Their skills are widening vs the demands of the industry due to outpacing of the curriculum and constraints around pedagogy. This opportunity is valued at $8bn annually and growing,” said Anup Jain, managing partner, Orios Venture Partners.
The ‘National Employability Report for Engineer 2019’ by job assessment platform Aspiring Minds concluded that over 80% of engineers in India are unfit to take up a job in the knowledge economy.
Indian engineers still lack relevant advanced tech skills such as artificial intelligence, data science, and wireless technologies etc. according to the report. Only 2.5% of Indian engineers possess the necessary skills required to work in artificial intelligence and only 5.5% of them are qualified to do basic programming.
Enterprise skilling startup Disprz had raised $13 Mn in a Series B funding round led by Dallas Venture Capital and Mars Growth Capital, earlier this month. Unlike NxtWave, Disprz’s AI-powered upskilling platform is aimed at corporations who want to upskill their workforce.