Edtech firm 88academics on Monday said it has raised equity financing of about USD 3 million (about Rs 22.1 crore) in funding, led by Aarin Capital Partners.
The pre-series A round also saw participation from Piyush Gupta (DBS Group CEO), Vinod Gupta (VG Learning Destination MD), P S Jayakumar (ex-MD and CEO of Bank of Baroda), Ramesh Swaminathan (Lupin Group CFO), Ajay Abrol (ex-Head Proprietary Trading of Nomura Singapore), Prem Rajani (Rajani Associates Managing Partner), Akshay Gupta and N Jayakumar (Prime Securities management team), a statement said.
88academics (India) – an 88tuition (Singapore) group company – will use the funds to develop India specific content for the K-12 segment, it added. “Our objective is to democratise education and make the highest quality product available to everyone at an affordable price. We are committed to building a top-quality enterprise and creating value for all stakeholders. We are grateful to all EdTech companies who have pioneered the transformation in India,” 88tuition founder and CEO Anil Ahuja said.
Prime Securities Ltd was the exclusive investment banker to this transaction. Superior pedagogy, outstanding teachers and attractive pricing have helped 88tuition capture over 6 per cent and 2 per cent (registered users and paid customers, respectively) of the highly competitive Singapore market, the statement said. The edtech space has seen strong growth globally with the COVID-19 pandemic serving as an inflection point. Many offline classes went online to ensure continuity of education while adhering to social distancing norms.
T V Mohandas Pai, Partner at Aarin Capital Partners, said the organisation seeks to partner technology-intensive businesses in life-sciences and healthcare, education and other potentially large India-centric or India-first companies. “88academics provides us with an opportunity to invest in a sector we know well and back a highly experienced management team with a differentiated product and a disruptive business model,” he added.
Ganesh Agarwal, Managing Director of Prime Securities, said the Indian edtech industry is valued at over USD 30 billion and the incumbents have significantly transformed the way education is being imparted to students. “The market is ripe for a revolutionary and disruptive product that is affordable, customer centric, scalable and profitable. We are proud to have brought 88tuition, Aarin Capital Partners and our growing list of HNI investors together,” he added.