Hong Kong investor comes as new backer for ed-tech startup Toppr

By Shweta Sharma

  • 14 Feb 2018

Mumbai-based Haygot Education Pvt Ltd, which runs ed-tech startup Toppr, has raised $100,000 (Rs 65 lakh) as part of an extended Series B funding round from Hong Kong-based early-stage investor Axis Capital Partners, a person directly in the know told TechCircle.

The company raised this round at the same valuation as its Series B round, the person added.

In October last year, VCCircle had reported that Toppr had secured an additional Rs 45 crore (around $7 million) as part of its Series B round from SAIF Partners, Helion Ventures and FIL Capital Management, which is part of Eight Roads Ventures.

The five-year-old startup is likely to be valued at around $60 million (around Rs 386 crore) post-money after the latest fundraise, another person directly aware of the development, said.

Text messages and email queries sent to Toppr’s co-founder Zishaan Hayath, seeking comments, did not elicit a response at the time of filing this report.

The ed-tech startup was founded in 2013 by IIT Bombay alumni Hayath and Hemanth Goteti. Prior to setting up Toppr, Hayath founded a phone-commerce startup Chaupaati Bazaar, while Goteti was head of engineering at e-commerce platform and held stints at Chaupaati Bazaar, Qlip Media, Synechron and Ubiquity Inc.

Hayath is also an angel investor and has backed firms such as and Ola. In September 2010, Chaupaati Bazaar was acquired by Future Group. He also operated an angel investment group called Powai Lake Ventures.

Toppr is a test preparation platform for engineering, medical and secondary school students. The firm covers exams such as IIT JEE and BITSAT in engineering; NEET, AIIMS, AIPMT, AFMC, MT-CET and EAMCET in medical; and NTSE, NSO, NSTSE and KVPY, among others.

Users are charged fees that range from Rs 250 per month to Rs 6,900 for three years, depending on the course and duration selected.

In April 2015, Toppr acquired EasyPrep, an online entrance exam preparation platform, for an undisclosed amount.

For the financial year 2016-17, the company's operational revenue more than doubled to Rs 6.49 crore from Rs 3.06 crore in the previous year. Gross expenses rose to Rs 48.3 crore from Rs 26.48 crore as staff costs doubled to Rs 24.47 crore. Other expenses, which include marketing expenses and other administrative overheads, climbed to Rs 22.4 crore from Rs 13.4 crore. Consequently, net losses widened to Rs 41.89 crore from Rs 23.41 crore.

In April 2017, Toppr raised Rs 2.16 crore (around $336,000) in a bridge round of funding led by Mauritius-based WGG International Ltd.

In February 2016, it acquired ed-tech startup Manch.

Founded in 2006, Axis Capital Partners invests in companies in technology, energy and real estate. Its portfolio companies are spread across Hong Kong, China, India, Southeast Asia and the US, information on the firm’s website shows. In India, it recently invested in mobile business-to-business marketplace Wydr along with Bessemer Venture Partners, Stellaris Venture Partners, and Jungle Ventures. In June last year, it participated in the Series A round of online fashion marketplace Fynd, which raised $3.4 million (around Rs 21 crore) led by IIFL Seed Ventures. Its other India bets include online marketplace for used automobiles Droom and online furniture rental startup Furlenco.

Recent bets in ed-tech

Other ed-tech startups that raised funds in the past two months include CollegeDekho, which raised $2 million (around Rs 13.2 crore) in its third round of funding from London-based Man Capital LLP, Girnar Software and other investors.

In January this year, Bengaluru-based iNurture raised Rs 28 crore in its Series C funding round led by venture capital firm Ventureast. In the same month, AEON Learning Pvt. Ltd raised $3.2 million (Rs 20.43 crore) in a Series B round from MEMG Family Office LLP and Pune-based Rubix108 Technologies secured $1 million in a pre-series A round led by Polaris Fund.

​Note:- This article has been updated to correct Toppr's financials.​

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