India’s education marketplace EduKart has raised $1 million in funds from Holostik Group’s United Finsec, Yuvraj Singh’s YouWeCan Venture and early-stage seed funds program 500 Startups. The funds will help increase access to education for Indian citizens.
EduKart was founded in 2011 by Ishan Gupta, a Stanford University alumnus, and Mayank Gupta, an Indian Institute of Management graduate. EduKart differs from conventional MOOC platforms in that it is essentially an enrollment service that collects and offers lists of courses from brick-and-mortar academic institutions across India to interested learners.
The EduKart platform offers over 2,000 courses from more than ninety institutions and has about 15,000 enrolled students. Learners can access graduate and undergraduate courses as well as coaching and K-12 programs.
Some of the institutions offering their courses include Vidyamandir, Brilliant Tutorials, Digital Vidya, Indian School of Business, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, and Bharati Vidyapeeth University, among others. Explaining the EduKart concept to TechCrunch, Ishan Gupta said:
“We are a big distribution platform but don’t deliver the course ourselves. India is a much more fragmented market, but the large middle class is very passionate about education and really looks for options.”
The $1 million in funds raised by EduKart will be deployed in upgrading the marketplace platform, making more courses and course providers available to users, and strengthening the marketing efforts of the company.
Primary investor Holostik Group’s Ankit Gupta, head of strategy for the company, said:
“While on one hand, EduKart helps students and parents make informed education related decisions, on the other it has given various course providers a platform to expand their reach to Tier two and Tier three cities across India.”
Holostik, a hologram manufacturer, is for TechCrunch an interesting investment that highlights that education is heading online. The company says is ready to offer digital education when the country is ready for the shift:
“Over time, a lot of courses will go online,” Gupta said. “We’ve seen a number of companies delivering education get funded lately. Online delivery can provide greater engagement, but today it is low, over time it will shift and we are right at the forefront.”
EduKart is confident that the platform will boost its course enrollment sales and surpass the $100 million milestone through an annual enrollment of about 100,000 learners.
Previously, EduKart has attracted investors such as Manish Kheterpal, former Providence Equity Partners director, Amit and Arihant Patni from the well known Patni family, and Vijay Shekhar Sharma, the founder of PayTM of Alibaba.
EduKart has under its roof talent coming from Google, PLC, Wiley and Monster Inc. in leading positions and is continually investing resources to bring in more top tier talent.