E-learning firm Liqvid raises $3M from Japan’s SBI Holdings

Liqvid eLearning Services Pvt Ltd, an integrated e-learning content solutions company, has raised $3 million (approx. Rs 16.6 crore) in funding from a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, Japan. As part of the deal, Brijesh Pande, board member of SBI Ven Capital, Singapore, will join Liqvid’s board.

Headquartered in Noida, with offices in Bangalore, Singapore and the US, Liqvid provides technology-aided English Learning and Training (ELT) solutions to individuals and organisations under the brand EnglishEdge. The content can be accessed via PC, tablet and mobile, and the company claims that EnglishEdge has more than 2,50,000 learners across schools, colleges, vocational institutes and more. Its key institutional customers include IIT Delhi, Jamia Millia, Pinegrove School, Kimberley International School, Shemford Schools, British Council and Educomp, among others. The company also has a tie-up with BBC Active.

With the current round of funding, Liqvid plans a deeper penetration into the school market with its EnglishEdge Portable Language Lab. It also plans to expand its offerings in the college segment with a comprehensive solution that caters to the demand for English language enhancement, business communication skills and personality development.

Liqvid was set up in December 2002 by Vivek Agarwal (CEO) and Manish Upadhyay (COO). Agarwal, an alumnus of IIM Kolkata, earlier co-founded an e-learning portal and prior to that, worked at SRF Finance. Upadhyay, a passout from IIT Delhi, had worked with LionBridge Technologies and NIIT Ltd.

“We believe that Liqvid’s technology has wide applicability, not only in India but in a number of non-native English-speaking countries in Asia. We look forward to leveraging our global investment ecosystem to further Liqvid’s growth in India and abroad,” said Pande.

SBI Holdings is one of the largest PE/VC firms in Japan with more than $3 billion under management. The SBI Group’s core businesses include asset management, brokerage and investment banking, commercial banking and insurance. As of March 31, 2012, the SBI Group consists of 140 companies (including consolidated partnerships, equity method affiliates and six public-listed companies) and currently has investments in more than 13 countries across Asia.

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)

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