Bengaluru-based edtech startup Vedantu has raised USD 24 million as an extension of its Series C round led by GGV Capital, with participation from existing investors including Tiger Global, WestBridge Capital, and Accel, among others.
In August 2019, it raised USD 42 million in a round led by Tiger Global, which makes its total raised money to date USD 85 million. Hans Tung, managing partner at GGV Capital, will join Vedantu’s board.
The company provides live tutoring for students from grade six to grade 12 and claims 25 million students take free classes every month on its platform. It runs on a freemium model with a combination of free and paid courses. The company said it has 100,000 paid subscribers on the platform as of now, 4.5 times more than last year.
Vedantu will utilize the funds to launch classes for lower grades (kindergarten to standard five) by April–May this year. In a statement, the company said these classes will be different in terms of experience than the current ones. “What we are doing for grades six to 12 won’t work for these students. So, we are going to offer a slightly different product in this segment with different pricing and models. The product itself will be very different,” Vedantu co-founder Vamsi Krishna told KrASIA.
Krishna said that one of the primary reasons they engaged with GGV was to better understand edtech trends from its team as the VC’s understanding of this sector is very strong and they have a good sense of global education trends.
“With GGV’s track record in the edtech space launched by my colleague Jenny Lee in 2013, we look for teams that deliver technology-enhanced education that fits the local needs. We are excited to partner with Vamsi and the Vedantu team and share GGV’s global expertise and network to help them scale and shape learning outcomes for millions of students in India and beyond,” Tung said in a statement.
According to a recent report by a UK-based firm, with 327 online tutoring companies, India is the second-largest edtech market after the US. Although Vedantu offers live tutoring which it said is different from what other players in this soon-to-be USD 1.96 billion edtech market provide, it competes with Byju’s, Toppr, DoubtNut, and CueMath, among others. The world’s most valued edtech company Byju’s raised USD 200 million from New York-based private equity fund General Atlantic, while Delhi-based Coding Ninjas raised USD 3 million from InfoEdge.
According to Krishna, parents have started trusting online education platforms in India, compared to two or three years ago. “When we started it was very early days for online education in India, even 4G connection wasn’t available. People didn’t believe children could study online. Unlike recorded classes, we simulate the offline teaching experience and that’s why parents and students trust us alike. Our endeavor is to push this format further,” Krishna said.
Over the last three years, the company said it has seen an increase in the online learning adoption largely driven by the tier 2 and 3 markets in India.