Education-technology company Qin1 has secured funding from Venture Catalysts, as online learning ventures remain on investors’ radar in the wake of a shutdown of schools and colleges due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ola co-founder Ankit Bhati also invested in the startup, Venture Catalysts said in a statement.
The startup incubator and accelerator said also that BookMyShow chief financial officer Mitesh Shah participated in this round on behalf of Venture Catalysts.
Venture Catalysts didn’t disclose the amount it invested in Qin1, though it typically puts in between $250,000 and $1.5 million in early-stage startups.
Noida-based Qin1, operated by Kid Aptivity Technologies Pvt. Ltd, was founded by IIT-Delhi alumnus Ishan Gupta and Aarti Gupta. It is a learning platform for kids in the age group of five to 14 yrs.
The startup offers extracurricular activities to children via a digital platform. It provides personalized live classes across various disciplines including spoken English, coding and robotics.
“Besides formal education, the extracurricular segment (worth $10 billion) is also projected to experience a meteoric rise in the number of users, buoyed by the offline to online shift,” Gaurav Jain, co-founder at Venture Catalysts, said.
The firm was set up in 2015 by Jain, Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Anuj Golecha and Anil Jain. Its investment spree has continued unabated despite the nationwide lockdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Venture Catalysts has made at least eight investments this year, including in Power Gummies.
Other bets it has made include insurance-tech startup Insurance Samadhan, prayer materials startup OM Bhakti, artificial intelligence-enabled helmet maker Altor, enterprise-focused neo-banking platform Nupay, a financial-technology startup GetVantage, corporate venturing platform IncubateHub and solar panel cleaner startup Skilancer.
In August last year, Venture Catalysts floated a fund, the 9Unicorns Fund, with a corpus of Rs 300 crore ($43.44 million), to help early-stage Indian startups expand their business.
The incubator and accelerator said its network of high net-worth individuals struck 60 investment deals and 27 exit transactions in 2019. Individual investors committed a total of Rs 117 crore (around $16.39 million), with the amount being part of a larger sum of Rs 563 crore that Venture Catalysts facilitated during these deals.
Deals in ed-tech segment
The larger ed-tech segment in India has been the object of investor attention over the last few years. The most heavily funded startup is Byju's, which is part of the unicorn club.
Earlier this month, online tutoring platform Vedantu Innovations Pvt. Ltd has secured capital from two Asian investors- South Korea's KB Global and Chinese VC firm Legend Capital as part of its extended Series C round of fundraising.
Online tutorial platform Lido Learning has just raised around $13.5 million as part of its Series B financing.
Toppr and Unacademy are among other ed-tech startups that have also raised significant funding.
Early this month, venture capital firms Matrix Partners and SAIF Partners invested $4 million (Rs 30 crore) in ed-tech platform Camp K12.
In January, Gurugram-based DoubtNut raised $15 million in its Series A round of funding led by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings. Sequoia's Surge was an early investor in DoubtNut.
In the same month, growth-stage investor Iron Pillar led a Rs 60-crore (around $8.3 million) Series B round in Testbook, which operates a platform focused on government examination preparations.