The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has made an equity investment of $2.1 Mn (INR 15 Cr) in mobile-first multilingual test preparation app OnlineTyari (OT). The foundation is the lead investor in OT’s current round of funding that has raised about $3 Mn (INR 20 Cr).
Talking about the development, Vipin Agarwal, co-founder and CEO, OnlineTyari said, “India is witnessing a paradigm shift toward online educational services. We are proud to be at the centre of this shift and excited to partner with the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation as we move into the next phase of our growth. This partnership will help us introduce new business best practices and to achieve the scale needed to reach our goal: improving education and skill development for more than 100 million people every year across India.”
Gurugram-based OnlineTyari was founded in 2014 by Vipin Agarwal and Bhola Ram Meena, both graduates of IIT Kanpur. It offers students with test preparation materials for entrance exams including Civil Services, Banking Services, UPSC, GATE, and State Government jobs.
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It offers a mobile application that allows for highly customised, curated and vernacular test preparation content delivered through very low internet bandwidths. As per a company statement, it has recorded nearly 3.5 Mn downloads and over 400,000 daily active users.
Talking about the investment, Mohandas Pai, re-investing in the company via 3one4 Capital, said,”OnlineTyari has done tremendously well to deliver on its mission and address the concerns of over 10 million Indians writing the competitive exams for government jobs in multiple languages. Having proven product-market fit for this highly-engaged adoption segment, the company can now go deeper to become an intelligent platform for the best quality multi-lingual educational content in the country. We are proud to be part of this mission and excited to be working with this team to scale this value proposition.”
The startup will use the funding to expand its vernacular offering, widen exam coverage and strengthen its technology and analytics engine.
Talking about the investment, Prachi Windlass, Education Director, India, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, said, “OT has already disrupted the market for test prep in India by creating a personalized, data-backed solution for a large but often ignored market segment. The platform approach – that curates content from multiple partners – enables them to provide high-quality exam content with a very short time-to-market. This is very important for this market segment as students may appear for multiple exams and need a one-stop solution. OT will play a huge role in helping students from smaller towns and low-income families access test prep services.”
Founded in 1999, the central mission of the US-based Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is transforming the lives of children living in urban poverty through better education, family economic stability, and health. Since 2006, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has invested more than $147 Mn (INR 983 Cr) in non-profit and social enterprises in India.
In May 2016, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation earmarked an additional $50 Mn (about INR 333 Cr) towards investments in the country over the next three years. In August 2016, it invested about $900K (INR 6 Cr) in edutainment startup ConveGenius.