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Sequoia India leads $40 million round in edutech startup Eruditus

ET Bureau|
Jan 11, 2019, 09.17 AM IST
Eruditus plays in both these markets and says it has cornered a unique position through its partnership with Ivy League colleges.
By Alnoor Peermohamed

BENGALURU: Online education startup Eruditus has raised $40 million in a Sequoia India-led Series-C funding round to fuel its expansion plans. The financing round, which also saw participation from existing investor Bertelsmann India, will push up the valuation of the Mumbai-based company to $410 million, according to its cofounder Ashwin Damera.

Eruditus partners with top colleges in the US and Europe, such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), INSEAD and London School of Economics, among others, to create training courses for professionals and executives.

Damera said the company will utilise the capital to grow into new geographies such as Latin America and China, apart from expanding its range of courses in emerging sectors such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, robotics and self-driving vehicles. And by next year, it will begin offering full-fledged degree courses in partnership with top universities. “The reason we’re raising this capital is growth. We’re already operating on a break-even basis and we should exit this year in the positive. The three focus areas for us are to create more courses, grow geographically, and offer degrees,” said Damera. “There’s a very huge opportunity to work with these colleges to bring their degree-granting programmes online.”

From about 10,000 enrolments in 2018, Eruditus plans to widen its student base to 30,000 in 2019. Along with new courses, it is also increasing the languages in which courses can be taught. After English and Spanish, it says it will begin offering courses in Portuguese by mid this year, and in Mandarin by the end of 2019.

“Upskilling and reskilling represent one of the fastest-growing segments of the global education market. Driven both by individual learners investing in their own professional development and by corporations investing in the development of their employees, the massive challenge of reskilling in response to technology evolution is throwing open a multi-billion-dollar opportunity for education entrepreneurs,” said GV Ravishankar, managing director of Sequoia Capital India Advisors.

Damera estimates the size of the online professional education market to be worth $280 billion globally, of which 15% is for high-level executive education, while 40% of the market is for retraining of professionals with 5-10 years of work experience. Eruditus plays in both these markets and says it has cornered a unique position through its partnership with Ivy League colleges.

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