Centrum’s PE arm invests in ed-tech startup Littlemore

Ed-tech startup Littlemore has raised $3 million (around Rs 20 crore) in a fresh round of funding from Kalpavriksh, the private equity arm of financial services firm Centrum.

Incorporated as Littlemore Innovation Labs Pvt. Ltd, the startup operates out of Chennai and Singapore.

Littlemore said in a statement that the equity investment will be used for further research and development as well as expansion in Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Littlemore was founded in August 2010 by Srikanth Ganesan, Tathagata Guha Roy, and Anand Padmanabhan. It provides digital solutions for conducting paperless descriptive exams online.

The company has designed a writing tablet, DigiTaal, and developed a cloud-based software called PEXA that can be used to conduct paperless examinations.

“Having recognised the unique challenges Indian universities face with written examinations, I scoured the world for a suitable device or a solution – and realised there wasn’t any,” said co-founder Ganesan, who is also Littlemore's chief technology officer (CTO).

Ganesan previously worked with testing and assessment company MeritTrac.

"We liked Littlemore’s strong R&D focus that has effectively combined the power of a custom-built hardware and a cloud based software to provide a comprehensive, economical and yet an eco-friendly solution," said Giri Krishnaswamy, chief investment officer of Kalpavriksh.

Kalpavriksh, Centrum’s maiden private equity fund, was launched in November 2016 with a corpus of Rs 500 crore. It invests in high-growth unlisted companies in the consumer, education, technology, healthcare and wellness sectors.

Littlemore marks Kalpavriksh's third investment. In December, Kalpavriksh had invested Rs 20 crore (around $3.1 million) in The Label Life – a premium online lifestyle brand.

It had also invested Rs 6 crore (a little less than $1 million) in HEAL Institute, a sports medicine and physiotherapy chain.

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