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Iron Pillar leads Series B funding in ed-tech startup Testbook
Photo Credit: Ashutosh Kumar, Co-Founder and CEO, Testbook

Testbook Edu Solutions Pvt. Ltd, which operates an eponymous education-technology platform focussed on government examination preparations, has raised Rs 60 crore (about $8.3 million) in its Series B funding round.

The round was led by growth-stage investor Iron Pillar, Testbook said in a statement. Other investors that participated in the round include Matrix Partners India, Better Capital, AngelList India, and Reliance Jio president Vikas Choudhury.

Ashutosh Kumar, co-founder and chief executive officer at Testbook, said the company will use the funds to scale up its live course and mock test offerings to 400 exams from the current 100.

“Testbook will also invest in data science and machine learning to make the entire learning cycle adaptive for students so that the curriculum and their study plans are personalised for them,” he said.

Separately, Iron Pillar managing partner Sameer Nath said the growth-stage firm was confident in its investment because of its differentiated approach, the size of its potential market and the result-oriented curriculum.

Other investments by the Mumbai-based Iron Pillar include software-as-a-service firm NowFloats – which was later acquired by a Reliance Industries subsidiary – and drug firm Vyome.

Navi Mumbai-based Testbook began operations in January 2014. The firm was founded by a group of IIT - Bombay and Delhi alumni – Ashutosh Kumar, Narendra Agarwal, Yadvendar Champawat, Abhishek Sagar, Manoj Munna and Praveen Agarwal. The company’s platform helps customers prepare for government jobs and competitive examinations such as SBI PO, SSC GL, IBPS PO, IBPS Clerk, LIC AAO and CAT, among others.

In April 2017, the company raised an undisclosed sum of money in funding from Matrix Partners India, saying it would use the funds to enhance its product offerings. Prior to that, in 2016, it raised an undisclosed amount in funding from education content provider S Chand & Co Pvt. Ltd. It also secured Rs 1.5 crore facilitated by LetsVenture and ah! Ventures in 2014.

Deals in the ed-tech segment

The online learning and ed-tech segment has attracted considerable investor interest of late.

The valuation of ed-tech firm Byju’s crossed $5 billion after it raised $31.3 million in a funding round in March last year led by existing investors General Atlantic and Tencent Holdings Ltd. In December 2018, Byju’s announced that it secured $540 million (Rs 3,855 crore then) in a round led by South African tech conglomerate Naspers.

In December last year, career upskilling solutions provider Springboard raised $11 million (around Rs 78 crore) in a post-Series A financing round led by the education-focused Reach Capital. Other investors included Pearson Ventures, the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation.

In October, Info Edge (India) Ltd, which owns and operates portals such as job site Naukri.com, said it invested Rs 7.06 crore (a little less than $1 million) in Adda247, a test-preparation platform for government and public-sector exams.

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