Educomp Solutions Ltd has acquired venture-backed education startup Zaptive Internet Services Pvt Ltd, which runs the website Studyplaces.com. Under the deal, Educomp will buy the domain name and other existing contracts of Zaptive and will allot equity shares on a preferential basis of up to $1.5 million in exchange. The board of the listed education services provider will meet tomorrow, January 29, to discuss this deal, the company said in a filing with the Bombay Stock Exchange.
The three-year-old firm had several high profile backers. Studyplaces raised $3 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins, Caufield & Byers (KPCB), Ram Shriram's Sherpalo Ventures and Info Edge (who runs the portal Naukri.com)in early 2008. It also got seed funding from Nikesh Arora, president for global sales operations and business development at Google and former Orange CEO Sanjiv Ahuja.
Sources close to the development told VCCircle that Studyplaces ran out of money and had no option but to sell out. Several players were in the race for the firm, including Info Edge. Calls made and a message sent to Studyplaces CEO Amitabh Nagpal was not answered till the time this article was published.
Studyplaces, a lead generation website, provides a platform for students to acquire information related to higher education opportunities in the US, UK, India and other countries. This database is then used by universities to get a ready list of relevant students to publicise their programmes. The domain Studyplaces is owned by US-based Study Places Inc., which is also the holding company of Zaptive. It currently covers more than 3,750 universities and educational institutions.
Studyplaces was founded by Amitabh Nagpal, who was earlier the co-founder of telecom system integration and outsourcing firm Cymbal Corporation, which was acquired by Patni Computer Systems for $68 million in 2004. Studyplaces is headquartered in California, US with an office in Gurgaon with around 40 employees.