Lernern has raised $1 million (around Rs 7 crore) in a seed funding round from a clutch of investors including OOB Ventures Pte. Ltd, a Singapore-based company run by Ruchi Sihare, the edtech company said in a statement.
Ex-investment banker Kunal Solanki and Swiss impact investor elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization, among others, also invested in this funding round, the statement said.
The company, which is the edtech arm of Gram Tarang Technical Vocational Education & Training Pvt. Ltd, will use the funds for content development and to strengthen its technology platform, it added.
Founded in 2020 by Abhinav Madan and Aditya Saikia, Lernern provides apprenticeship, upskilling and further education opportunities to blue-collar workers. The company said that it has initiated a work-integrated skill training and apprenticeship program to enable further education for blue-collar workers by integrating academia and vocational education with industry. Several pilots have been on the ground since 2015 with industry partners like Café Coffee Day and Haier, it added.
Lernern has also partnered with Prasad Ram, who is the founder, creator, and CEO of an open and collaborative online community called Gooru, to help navigate the learner’s journey, the statement said. Ram earlier was CTO of Google India.
The edtech market in India has witnessed frenetic funding and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year. In October, VCCircle reported that Amsterdam-based Global University Systems has acquired a 100% stake in Indian education firm Edvancer Eduventures Ltd, which offers online certification courses in data science.
Vernacular edtech platform Vidyakul raised an undisclosed sum in a financing round from Dholakia Ventures and other angel investors. Similarly, Bengaluru-based ForeignAdmits raised Rs 3.5 crore in a seed funding round led by Unicorn India Ventures.
In July, Teachmint Technologies Pvt Ltd, focused on tutor-student connectivity, raised $20 million (Rs 149.4 crore) in a pre-Series B funding round led by global edtech-focused VC firm Learn Capital. In November, Unacademy Group-owned Graphy acquired edtech platform Spayee for $25 million.
India’s edtech sector is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of over 15% from $2.8 billion in 2020 to $30 billion in 2030, citing a BLinC Investment Management report, which also terms India as the world’s most active edtech market.