The country’s top media houses are gung-ho about Chennai-based IT learning placement solutions firm EdServ. Joining previous investors HT Media and Bennett Coleman & Company is India’s third largest daily Dainik Jagran that has picked up a small stake in the company by way of conversion of warrants to the tune of Rs 10 crore.
The company that went public (after getting a Grade 1 indicating ‘poor fundamentals’ by rating agency CARE) just weeks before the stock market valuations bottomed out in March’09, has now completed fund raising of around Rs 130 crore for pan-India expansion. The company’s share price is now three times its issue price and has outperformed the benchmark stock indices in the period.
The entire fund-raising exercise included issue of 3.3 million fresh shares diluting the equity base by 22%. The company’s management said, it will not go ahead with any more equity dilution.
EdServ is on an expansion spree and will invest Rs 30-40 crores over the next year on content, campaigns and infrastructure.
Elaborating on what the media houses bring to the table, EdServ CEO Giridharan said, “The treaties signed with these top media houses will help us with advertising and promotions, with options to market our education and placement services on press, TV and radio. BCCL has 45 radio stations across India while Dainik Jagran and HT Media will ensure that we reach West, North and East India. We already have a significant brand presence in South India.”
The company is also developing a mobile edition of its e-learning services to enable more users to use them.
The company that acquired pre-school business of Sparkling Minds (founded by ex-Infoscians in 2007) in an all cash deal worth Rs 1.25 crore early this year has been in an acquisition spree. This transaction had followed acquisition of SchoolMATE (a school ERP) besides a letter of intent to acquire SmartLearn WebTV, an IIT JEE and AIEEE content company.
The firm co-promoted by husband-wife duo S Giridharan and G Geeta, has ambitious growth plans. It aims to grow its revenues almost three-fold from Rs 52 crore for the year ended March’10 and expects to more than double the profit to Rs 40 crore this fiscal. The seven-year-old firm operates under three business units: Elmaq (IT Training), Heads (Education cum placement business) and Lambent (Software Development).