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Gray Matters-backed ed-tech firm Guvi raises pre-Series A funding
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Guvi Geek Network Pvt. Ltd, which operates vernacular language-based education technology company Guvi, has raised Rs 6 crore (approximately $787,686 at current exchange rates) in its pre-Series A funding round.

The Chennai-based company has raised the capital from Education Catalyst Fund, a sector-focused venture capital fund managed by CBA Capital, Guvi said in a statement.

SP Balamurugan, co-founder at Guvi, said the company will use the funds to scale up its operations, introduce newer courses and expand its geographical presence for its offline and online courses.

Separately, CBA Capital’s Bhavesh Hemani said the firm was confident of its investment in Guvi because of the company’s audience focus and its approach to its product.

Guvi, set up by Balamurugan, Arun Prakash and Sri Devi in 2014, is an Indian Institute of Technology-Madras incubated company. Its platform offers technical courses created by industry experts in vernacular languages.

The company claims the ongoing lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has been beneficial for its platform, with over 150,000 enrolments conducted within 12 days.

This is not the first time the company has raised capital. In April last year, it raised Rs 1 crore in its first institutional round of funding from the US-based Gray Matters Capital.

CBA Capital, an impact-based investment management firm, manages two funds that bet on companies involved in education, skilling, and livelihoods. Firms in its portfolio include student finance solutions Gyandhan, high finance-focussed skilling startup Imarticus, and school infrastructure provider Schoolmitra.

Deals in the ed-tech segment

Ed-tech firms have been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the ongoing lockdown, with several people turning to companies in the space to provide courses and infrastructure for existing offline courses.

The sector is also among the most well-funded in the country from a startup perspective, with companies such as Byju’s and Unacademy making aggressive moves to corner large sections of the market. However, there are companies such as Guvi that are looking to carve out significant niches for themselves.

Earlier this week, skills and learning development focussed education-technology startup School of Meaningful Experiences raised an undisclosed sum of money as part of its angel funding round. The round was led by Uday Singh, the former group CEO of SIS Group Enterprises.

Also this week, regional language-based Pariksha announced that it has raised an undisclosed sum as part of an extension of its pre-Series A round. The round was led by INSEAD Angels, with participation from high-profile investors including Nikhil Vora and Swati Mehra of Sixth Sense, Temasek India director Saahil Bhatia and Bain principal Sitanshu Shah.

Also this month, venture capital firms Matrix Partners and SAIF Partners invested $4 million (Rs 30 crore) in ed-tech platform Camp K12.

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