Pune-based edtech startup Pariksha has raised $2 Mn in a pre-Series A funding round led by Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund. The round also saw participation from LetsVenture Plus, 9Unicorns, Innercircle, and existing investors INSEAD Angels and Venture Catalysts.
A test prep platform for aspirants of state government jobs, The startup helps aspirants prepare for any entrance tests or examinations in the language of their choice through synchronous and asynchronous online classes. Pariksha says it’s looking to tap into a market with 75 Mn mobile-first users who spend over $2.3 Bn annually on preparation for job exams.
Founded in 2015 by Karanvir Singh, Utkarsh Bagri, Vikram Shekhawat and Deepak Choudhary, Pariksha claims to be India’s largest vernacular test preparation company, with operations across 11 states, in 6 languages, and with over 3.5 Mn users, of which, 100K or 1 lakh are paid subscribers.
“Bharat aspirants are very unique in their approach towards preparation. They need a product that is relevant to their mind-spaces. With vernacular content on top of ever-evolving technology, Pariksha is poised to fuel the hunger for the success of crores of underserved aspirants,” said Karanvir Singh, founder and CEO at Pariksha.
In the edtech space, Pariksha competes with several startups such as BYJU’S, Unacademy and upGrad, Toppr and Vedantu, among several others. Although, given its niche offering of test prep for state government jobs, Pariksha has a slightly different target user base than its competitors, who primarily focus aggressively on the K12 and test prep segments, the latter for national-level exams for admission to colleges.
“Online training and testing is a great equaliser. By providing access to the best training materials in local languages to a previously underserved segment, Pariksha is ensuring that they are able to compete effectively for jobs,” said Sanjay Jain, partner at Bharat Inclusion Seed Fund.
Indian Edtech Sector: A $10 Bn Opportunity
With a market size of $2.8 Bn in 2020, the Indian edtech sector is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39% to reach a market size of $10.4 Bn by 2025, highlights an Inc42 Plus report, “The Future Of Edtech In India: Decoding the $10 Bn Market Opportunity”. Some of the major factors driving the adoption of edtech apps in India will be convenience and cost-efficiency of the products and services, a surge in out-of-pocket expenditure on education and rise in course fees.
Test preparation, K12 learning, online certification and skill development are expected to be the major drivers of demand for Indian edtech startups in the coming years.