Girnar Soft, the parent company behind the auto portal CarDekho and BikeDekho, has recently invested $1 million into a new education technology startup called CollegeDekho that will help students in India find the right path to higher education.
The startup offers a portal for students to compare colleges and choose courses by matching interests with course listings, as well as to determine course cutoff dates and access career-related content while at the same time aiding in the college admissions process. The portal only currently exists as a browser platform, although plans to launch an app and more in-depth profiling system are in the works and expected to roll out in December.
The funding from Girnar Soft will be used as the seed money for the company, with additional rounds of funding expected to be added later on. CollegeDekho's founder Ruchir Arora began the company in July after graduating from the Indian School of Business. In terms of funding, Arora stated that there are 30 million students enrolled in 36,000 colleges throughout the country at any given time. Although India is the third-largest higher education market in the world, Arora sees room for improvement. He believes the platform will allow for its growth potential by establishing interaction between students and colleges, writes Tausif Alam for YourStory.com.
Arora said there were also plans for the expansion of its marketing. Arora maintains that there has not been a marketing budget thus far to support the 5,000 downloads the company has seen.
"If students are equipped with enough information, they can make more intelligent decisions on education," Arora told Tech in Asia. "Most sites want you to already know what you're trying to do. We focus on things like aptitude, abilities, constraints, etc."
Arora added that he would like to see the platform help to create an open dialog between students and colleges.
According to Amit Jain, CEO and co-founder of Girnar Software, CollegeDekho will offer the fresh start that higher education in India needs while also helping students to make more informed choices concerning their education.
A number of other ed-tech startups in India have also raised funding this year. Eduvision Retail Technologies, which runs Fastudent, a company that makes educational products, raised an undisclosed amount of seed investment just last week.
Evobi Automations Pvt Ltd, the company that makes Bibox tool kits for students, received an angel investment totaling $530,000 last month. Meanwhile, Almamapper, which focuses on education networking and offers a peer-to-peer learning platform, along with digital ed-tech startup Toppr.com and online education and training provider Simplilearn.com, have also raised additional funding within the past year.
Girnar Software currently owns CarDekho.com, Gaadi.com, BuyingIQ, Zigwheels.com, BikeDekho.com and TyreDekho.com. The company most recently purchased Zigwheels in September for an undisclosed amount, making it the third acquisition for the company in the last year. Girnar states that the six portals are visited by 30 million users each month, writes Disha Sharma for VCCircle.
The company had previously raised $50 million from Chinese investment management firm Hillhouse Capital and Hong Kong-based hedge fund Tybourne Capital at a $300 million post-money evaluation.