Ed-tech firm One Step Up raises funding from Orient BlackSwan
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Delhi-based education technology startup One Step Up has raised nearly Rs 2.2 crore ($336,600) led by existing investor Orient BlackSwan, a publishing house, the company's founder Shiv Dewan told VCCircle.

An individual investor also participated in the round. Orient BlackSwan had invested Rs 3 crore ($459,082) in the company in February last year, Dewan said.

Founded by Dewan in 2009, One Step Up Education Services Pvt. Ltd is a career counselling firm that helps students evaluate careers, subjects, and their abilities through online and offline channels. The company currently works with around 60 schools across 13 cities in the country. It has served over 10,000 students so far.

One Step Up, which has offices in Delhi and Bangalore and employs 24 people, will soon open its next office in Chennai.

The firm will use the fresh funds to build content, hire talent, strengthen its backend technologies, and for advertising.

Currently, One Step Up is a business-to-business company and reaches out to students through partnerships with schools, but it will now focus more on a business-to-consumer model.

"We see a bigger opportunity coming from the B2C space and are looking to find strategic partners as we move from being a B2B company to a B2C organisation," Dewan explained.

Headquartered in Telangana, Orient BlackSwan publishes academic works, professional books in biotechnology, computer science, engineering, etc., and it also reprints books by foreign authors at an affordable rate. It also distributes books published by Sangam Books, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Universities Press, and others. The firm has 13 offices and a distribution network of over 1,500 booksellers, information on the company website states.

India’s online education industry is expected to grow almost eight times to hit $1.96 billion by 2021, with the number of paid users rising six-fold to 9.6 million, a joint report by search giant Google and consultancy firm KPMG released in May this year found. One Step Up joins a long list of ed-tech startups that have raised funding this year.

Last week, Bangalore-based CollPoll, a communication and collaboration platform for educational institutes, raised around Rs 2 crore ($306,000) led by seed-stage investor Sprout Angels LLP.

In August, Vadodara-based ed-tech venture Cerebroz Edutree LLP raised Rs 4.7 crore (about $734,000) in seed funding from Dubai-based high-net-worth individuals.

In the same month, Leverage EdTech Pvt. Ltd, a startup that helps students apply to colleges, raised seed funding led by Kashyap Deorah, a serial entrepreneur, and Anand Sankeshwar, managing director at transportation firm VRL Logistics.

Bangalore-based PlayAblo, which seeks to engage school students through gamified learning solutions, raised $600,000 from ABI-Showatech (India) Ltd in July.

Hyderabad-based Edgefx Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which provides do-it-yourself project kits for engineering students, raised an undisclosed amount in a bridge round from international angel network Cross Border Angels & Experts, Rajasthan Angel Innovators Network, and The Chennai Angels.

Chennai-based seed-stage investor Sprout Angels had invested an undisclosed amount in digital education startup EdSix Brain Lab Pvt. Ltd in June 2015.

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