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Career Launcher parent revives IPO plans, ups issue size
Career Launcher

Education services company CL Educate, best known for its erstwhile test prep brand Career Launcher, has revived its initial public offering plans and is now looking to raise up to Rs 350 crore ($53 million), as per a letter to its shareholders.

The company had first filed its documents with the capital markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India in September 2014. It was looking to raise up to Rs 240 crore ($40 million then) at the time, of which Gaja Capital and the company's promoters were to get about half.

However, in April last year, it deferred its plans and withdrew its application. Now, the company is planning to refile the documents with SEBI by the end of this month. The decision was approved by the company's shareholders early this month.

A spokesperson for the company wasn’t immediately available for comment.

CL Educate started operations in 1996 as a provider of MBA test preparation courses. It later diversified across the education value chain—test preparation and training, generally referred to as test prep, under the Career Launcher brand; publishing and content under GK Publications; K12 schools under the brand Indus World Schools with 10 schools across India; and vocational training programmes.

The firm is also into certain recruitment, training and event management services for corporate houses through unit Kestone.

It has sealed a few acquisitions over the past few years, starting with a strategic investment in 2010-11 in Threesixtyone Degree Minds Consulting Pvt Ltd, a Chennai-based firm which runs online higher education business under the brand 361minds.

A year later, it acquired Delhi-based Compassbox.com, which provides online coaching in all major subjects to class IX-XII CBSE students.

In November 2011, it entered publishing with the acquisition of GK Publications to add a brand that publishes niche test prep books, guides, mock test papers and question banks for popular professional and entrance examinations in India.

In September last year, it acquired a 51 per cent stake in education startup Accendere Knowledge Management Services Pvt Ltd for an undisclosed amount.

Over the years, the firm has raised institutional capital from a string of investors. Intel Capital, one of the first investors in the company, exited the firm a long time ago but the firm later brought in Gaja Capital and recently raised Rs 35 crore from mortgage lender HDFC, which has investments in the education sector. Other small investors in the firm include Granite Hill, Edelweiss Finance and India Infoline Venture Capital.

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