Ed-tech startup Springboard gets $9.5 mn in Series A funding

US- and India-based online education startup Springboard, which offers professional courses, has raised $9.5 million (Rs 62 crore) in a Series A funding round.

The round was led by US-based early-stage venture capital firm Costanoa Ventures, with Learn Capital and Appdynamics founder Jyoti Bansal taking part.

Existing investors Blue Fog Capital, Rocketship.vc and Moneta Ventures invested, too, the startup said in a statement.

Costanoa’s venture partner Mark Selcow will join the board of Springboard as part of the funding round, co-founder and CEO Gautam Tambay told VCCircle.

Springboard, operated by SlideRule Labs Inc., plans to use the funds to expand into new verticals and regions, especially in India. It also plans to invest in technology that enables personalised learning and build an alumni community.

"Millennials are likely to have 15 jobs with four to five career changes through their working lives. But options to make those life-changing shifts either involve leaving your job to go to graduate school or relying on online classes with no support," said Tambay.

Jyoti Bansal, who sold Appdynamics to Cisco earlier this year for $3.7 billion, said Springboard’s online, distributed model is scalable globally and across industries.

Springboard was founded in 2013 by Tambay and IIT Bombay alumna Parul Gupta. The company functions out of San Francisco and Bengaluru.

In 2015, Springboard had raised $1.7 million from a clutch of investors including Blue Fog Capital.

The company offers one-on-one mentoring and professional online courses for early and mid-level professionals in data science, UX design, digital marketing and other new-economy fields where demand for talent exceeds supply.

It claims to have a model that pairs each student with an industry mentor, who provides real-world context, frequent feedback and career advice, resulting in higher completion rates than Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and other online courses.

Springboard claims it has educated more than 7,000 students in its intensive three-to-six months courses and has students and alumni in nearly 80 countries. The company has more than 350 professional mentors from companies ranging from Amazon and Airbnb to Uber and McKinsey, it said in the statement.

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