Times Internet invests $7 mn in exam preparation platform Gradeup

MUMBAI: Times Group’s digital arm Times Internet has invested $7 million in Series A funding in exam preparation platform Gradeup. This is the second fundraise for Gradeup, which has now raised $10 million in total. Gradeup will utilise the funds to enhance its tech & product capabilities, diversify offerings and scale the academic team.

Gradeup helps more than 15 million exam aspirants prepare effectively for competitive examinations like JEE, NEET, IBPS, SSC, TET, GATE, UPSC amongst others. Gradeup’s flagship offering is Gradeup Classroom; providing live courses from some of India’s best faculties.

The program offers comprehensive learning experience which engages students through Live classes, interactive quizzes, mock tests, 24×7 mentorship, amongst others. All of this designed & delivered by expert faculty through a structured methodology with a day-wise study plan.

It is complemented with engaging exam-specific communities, enabling students to interact with fellow peers & mentors, ask questions, share updates & access free study material.

Gradeup Co-founder and CEO Shobhit Bhatnagar said, “This round of investment from one of the largest and most influential internet enterprises across India is a glowing endorsement of our will to build the most effective edtech solution in the country. We are the only Indian online exam preparation platform that enables Live online coaching complemented with community-based learning, with ‘student success’ at the centre of our operational strategy.”

He further added “We are investing fresh funds to further build our live online coaching platform, scale our academic team to 100 Faculties and 200 Subject Matter Experts & to expand further in Tier 2,3,4 towns.”

Gradeup focuses on “student success” metrics as a tool to measure achievements and effectiveness, thereby stressing more on learning outcomes. This replaces normative measurements like the number of users, the number of classes, etc. to provide a holistic view of the course’s adoption something that has been largely overlooked by other players in the market.

Speaking on the investment decision, Times Internet CEO Gautam Sinha said, “Gradeup has been able to build the largest online student communities in India, and we are excited to be partners in their mission to improve education in India.”

The online education market in India currently stands at $247 million and is estimated to grow more than 8X over the next 5 years to over $1.96 billion in 2021. This growth is expected to be backed by a phenomenal rise in paid users across top edtech platforms, which is projected to grow from the current base of around 1.57 million to 9.5 million users in 2021 at a CAGR of 44%.

Gradeup believes that in the long run great pedagogy delivered through effective, engaging mediums will bring in impactful results and that will set an example for India’s test preparation market.

Considering the tremendous traction that its live online courses have received so far, Gradeup expects the number of enrolments to touch 60,000 students by the end of FY19-20, and 1.5L+ by FY20-21. Further, with special emphasis on enhancing and scaling its product & tech capabilities. Gradeup looks to raise more funds in the coming year to propel its efforts towards establishing category leadership.