ClassMonitor, an edtech startup focused on kids and parents, has raised Rs 3.5 crore ($477,700) as part of its pre-Series A funding round, a top executive told VCCircle.
Vijeet Pandey, cofounder and chief operating officer, said that the funds were raised from Indian construction company Path Ltd, UAE-based Calega family office, and Sarvann, which is a group of Oman-based investors.
ClassMonitor, which is operated by Riseom Solutions Pvt Ltd, will use the funds to boost its content and marketing efforts, he added.
The Indore-based startup was founded in 2016 by Pandey and Vikas Rishishwar. The company has raised over Rs 6 crore since its inception. In its angel and seed round, it raised capital from individuals including a scientist in Sweden and Piyush Jain, who has invested in over 25 startups in the last two years, said Pandey.
Pandey added that when he had started the firm in 2016 he wasn’t clear about the big problem he was looking to address in education. He initially decided that the startup will enter the market as a parent-teacher communication platform after he saw parents and teachers using WhatsApp to communicate about pupils. “I thought that was an unprofessional way to do it,” he said.
In the first eight months since launch in July 2016, the company managed to onboard 150 plus schools in Indore and Ahmedabad. However, he and his cofounder did not stop at that, continuing to find the bigger problem.
After sustained engagement with parents and teachers, the company figured two things: First, modern parents wanted to participate in their child's progress but were clueless how to go about it. Second, the parents were trying to find ways to keep children away from their mobiles.
To address this, ClassMonitor decided to merge offline and online learning. It also came up with plans to develop technology for parents or educators and physical learning boxes for kids.
Finally, in October 2018, it rolled out its technology and physical kit offerings. Between then and now the company’s revenues have crossed Rs 7 crore, said Pandey.
"The Rs 7 crore has been achieved on a fundraise of just Rs 2.5 crore earlier so we have been extremely cash-efficient," he added. And the startup that is adding 5,000 customers on a monthly basis now seeks to onboard 20,000 each month from February next year.
The firm is currently present in more than 1,000 cities in India and has a footprint in more than 12 countries. He added that 65% of revenues comes from top cities in India.
ClassMonitor’s core customers fall in the age bracket of 1-8 but the startup wants to dominate the 1-12 age group in the long run.
In addition to the business to consumer (B2C) and business to business (B2B) models, ClassMonitor is also pushing its B2BB2C vertical which has over 100 mothers who purchase kits from the company directly and sell them in their towns and cities. These mothers hail from metroes as big as Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi and smaller towns and cities such as Surat, Siliguri and Guwahati.
Pandey said that the startup is already in talks with venture capital firms for a Series A funding round but is in no rush to raise fresh capital immediately as it wants to focus on meeting short to medium term targets.
The edtech sector has been attracting increased investor attention after the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a surge in demand for online learning platforms and solutions.
Earlier this month, Teachmint Technologies Pvt Ltd, focused on tutor-student connectivity, raised $16.5 million (Rs 123 crore) in a Series A funding round.
In April, edtech firm upGrad raised $120 million (Rs 898 crore) from Singapore state investor Temasek in its first external funding, and LEAD School raised $30 million (Rs 224 crore) in its Series D round of funding led by US-based edtech investor GSV Ventures.
Also last month, edtech market leader Byju’s raised over $455 million (Rs 3,328 crore) in the second tranche of its Series F fundraise, the move reportedly bumping up its valuation to $15 billion (about Rs 1.13 lakh crore).
Byju's also acquired test-preparatory services Aakash Educational Services in a $1 billion deal last month.
Earlier in January, Unacademy, which joined the unicorn club of startups valued at $1 billion or more last year, said four existing investors had purchased shares worth $50 million (Rs 366 crore).