9Unicorns, Chiratae Ventures, others back edtech startup ByteLearn
Photo Credit: VCCircle

ByteLearn, an artificial intelligence-powered teaching assistant, has raised $9.5 million in a Seed funding round led by 9Unicorns, Chiratae Ventures and Leo Capital, the company said in a statement on Friday. 

The round also witnessed the participation of Venture Catalysts, Goodwater Capital, Earlsfield Capital, Kettleborough VC, PitchRight Ventures, AdvantEdge VC, Srini Rai (Growthstory), Anand Chandrasekaran (Facebook, F9), Arun Tadanki (Ex-Yahoo), Vikas Choudhury (Jio), Ravi Bhushan (BrightChamps), Giri Malpani (Malpani family), Abhishek Goyal (Traxcn), Ramakant Sharma (Livpsace) and Ravi Garikipati (Ex Flipkart), among others. 

The company said it will use the funds for product development, global expansion and enhancing its technological capabilities.   

ByteLearn is an Artificial Intelligence or AI-powered teaching assistant operated ByteLearn Edtech Pvt Ltd. Founded by Aditya Singhal and Nishant Sinha, it guides students with math problems, evaluates performance, grades tests, and allows them the flexibility to study any topic using its AI-powered tutoring engine.

Aditya Singhal and Nishant Sinha are IIT Delhi graduates with over 15 years of experience in the edtech space. The company has staff in the US and India, and the founding team members includes AI/ML PhDs such as Dr Ankur Narang (IIT Delhi) and Dr Hari Sankar (IIT Madras). Their design, product and curriculum team in the Silicon Valley includes Kitt Hirasaki (Harvard alumni, ex-Khan Academy), and Charuta Joshi (ex-Teach for America), both with experience of working in US EdTech companies, it said in a statement. 

“The fundraise will enable us to build deeper AI capabilities, enhance our product, strengthen our teams across India and US, and also expand our outreach to multiple geographies,” said Aditya Singhal, Co-founder of ByteLearn.   

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic last year, the edtech market in India has seen a flurry of fundraising and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity. 

In October, VCCircle reported that Amsterdam-based Global University Systems has acquired a 100% stake in Indian education firm Edvancer Eduventures Ltd, which offers online certification courses in data science. 

Vernacular edtech platform Vidyakul raised an undisclosed sum in a financing round from Dholakia Ventures and other angel investors. Similarly, Bengaluru-based ForeignAdmits raised Rs 3.5 crore in a Seed funding round led by Unicorn India Ventures.

In July, Teachmint Technologies Pvt Ltd, focused on tutor-student connectivity, raised $20 million (Rs 149.4 crore) in a pre-Series B funding round led by global edtech-focused VC firm Learn Capital. In November, Unacademy Group-owned Graphy acquired edtech platform Spayee for $25 million.       

Three edtech companies have become unicorns in 2021, bringing the total number of such startups in the country - with a valuation of more than $1 billion - to five. 

Executive education platform Eruditus and higher learning startup upGrad became unicorns in 2021, with Vedantu being the latest edtech company to join the club in late September, after raising $100 million in a Series E round led by Singapore-based impact investor ABC World Asia. 

According to a BLinC Investment Management report, India's edtech sector is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of over 15% from $2.8 billion in 2020 to $30 billion in 2030, making it the world's most active edtech market.

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