Chennai-based edtech startup Skill-Lync has raised $17.5 Mn in Series A round led by Iron Pillar. Existing investors Y Combinator and Better Capital also participated in this funding round. Apart from these funds, the startup has also received investments from Flipkart cofounder Binny Bansal, who is now the founder of startup scale-up consultancy Xto10X as well as Xto10X cofounder Sai Krishnamurthy and Rashmi Kwatra, founder of Sixteenth Street Capital, who have come on board as new investors.
With this round, Skill Lync has raised a total of US $20 Mn across its seed and Series A funding rounds. The engineering-centric edtech startup provides courses in the mechanical, electrical, civil and computer science engineering streams for students in India and other parts of the world. It offers courses such as automotive and electric vehicle design, construction project management, embedded systems design, additive manufacturing, engineering design, renewable energy besides full-stack development and data analytics, among others.
The startup, which also has an office in Palo Alto, California, will utilise the fresh funds to increase the number of courses offered, build a strong management team and expand to international markets.
Founded in 2018 by Suryanarayanan P and Sarangarajan V, Skill-Lync offers online and offline courses. At present, it claims to have an overall user base of 20,000, of which 17,500 students are said to be from India. Skill-Lync offers a 8-12 month online Master’s course or a shorter six-month program for offline learners at physical centres, which comes with access to hands-on practical experience. The startup claims to have collaborated with over 800 industry experts to create existing course content and has full-time educators with experience of working in companies such as Bosch, Cummins, ABB, Samsung and Accenture.
According to the Inc42 Plus ‘The Future Of India’s $2 Bn Edtech Opportunity Report 2020’, more than half of India’s workers will require reskilling to meet the talent demands of the tech industry by 2022. While the penetration of edtech in domains such as software development, programming, artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science has grown immensely in the past few years, traditional engineering courses have largely been ignored by edtech startups, despite them continuing to be relevant in the modern day tech industry.
Edtech startups such as upGrad, Great Learning and others offer courses in computer sciences and software project development, but not in hard engineering streams. The likes of Udemy and Coursera offer standalone courses in individual engineering topics, but these are typically not intensive and require learners to self-manage their learning.
Cofounder Suryanarayanan P said Skill-Lync aims to bridge the ever-increasing gap between the skills demanded in the job market and what students are taught in engineering colleges. “The rapid adoption of new technologies by industries has also created a need for constant upskilling of engineering professionals. Hence, the need of the hour is to have engineers who have knowledge of both engineering fundamentals and how they can be applied to solve real world engineering problems through engineering design and simulation tools,” he said.