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Ed-tech startup 3RDFlix pockets pre-Series A cheque
L-R: Subbarao Siddabattula (Founder & CEO ), Charu Noheria (Co- Founder & CBO ) and Ilangovel Thulasimani (Co- Founder & CTO)

3RDFlix Visual Effects Pvt. Ltd has raised pre-Series A funding from three early-stage investment firms, the ed-tech startup’s co-founder told VCCircle.

Charu Noheria, who is also chief business officer at 3RDFlix, said Exfinity Venture Partners led the funding round. IDFC Parampara Early Stage Opportunities Fund and YourNest also participated in the funding round.

The startup raised a total of $5 million (Rs 36 crore) in this round, she said.

The company will use the funds to enter two to three new regions—the US, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. It later plans to cover Canada and Australia, where people are willing to adopt new technologies and can pay a premium on the products they use, said Noheria. Part of the funds will also be used for hiring, she added.

The company currently has presence only in India. It seeks to make learning immersive through VFX videos and technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality.

The company has its roots in 2014 when the founders Noheria, Subbarao Siddabattula and Ilangovel Thulasimani were working in the US at healthcare IT firm Lumeris.

Siddabattula, who graduated from Andhra University, had earlier founded a company called ClearPractice in the healthcare IT segment. Thulasimani, who graduated from College of Engineering, Guindy (Chennai), worked with software services firms TCS and Cognizant. Noheria studied computer science in Bengaluru and later pursued an MBA from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. She started her career at Samsung.

Noheria said the trio had initially explored various other verticals for a startup such as fintech and a B2B marketplace focused on logistics before deciding on education.

They developed the basic product in the US and moved it to India under the brand Corsalite after getting positive reviews. In 2016, the beta product was launched.

“We had a 360-degree vision that we wanted to be a one-stop solution for B2B learning. We wanted to be in enterprise SaaS (software-as-a-service) because that is where our experience was,” said Noheria.

She added that they also saw another opportunity to get into content development. So, they started building content under the brand 3RDFlix, which was incorporated in March last year.

“Our sweet spot was classes from 9 to 12 while most companies were catering to primary and middle grade,” she said.

The company started building content with better visualisation and in-depth coverage of the entire course material that could be used by students and teachers as well. The 3RDFlix videos are, on average, five-minute long.

“The idea is to capture 60 minutes of classroom learning within this time. That is quite an aggressive goal,” she said.

The company has customers in Delhi, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. Its customers include Dr KKR's Gowtham Educational Institutions, a chain of 28 schools.

Dexter Capital advised the company on the transaction.

3RDFlix joins a bunch of ed-tech startups that have attracted investor interest of late. Just last month, Vedantu Innovations Pvt. Ltd raised $42 million (Rs 300 crore) in a Series C funding round led by US-based investment firm Tiger Global and private equity firm WestBridge Capital.

In March, the valuation of ed-tech firm Byju’s crossed $5 billion after it raised $31.3 million in a funding round led by existing investors General Atlantic and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

Investors

Exfinity is a technology-focussed venture capital firm. It invests in technology-led product startups through Exfinity Technology Fund – Series I, which has a corpus of Rs 125 crore. The firm is led by IT industry bigwigs V Balakrishnan, TV Mohandas Pai, Deepak Ghaisas and Girish Paranjpe.

Its portfolio includes logistics management startup Locus, AI and VR technology startup Absentia Virtual Reality Pvt. Ltd and US-based AgShift.

IDFC Parampara was set up by IDFC Alternatives, the private equity arm of IDFC group, and venture capital firm Parampara Capital in 2017. Its portfolio includes cybersecurity firm CloudSEK and space-tech startup Bellatrix.

YourNest, founded in April 2011 by Sunil Goyal, Sanjay Pande and Girish Shivani, is an early-stage venture capital fund. It has backed at least 16 startups, including Mycity4kids, Proof of Performance, Uniphore Software, Simpli5D Technologies, Bookmycab, GolfLan, BetaOut and Rubique.com.

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