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Michael and Susan Dell Foundation-backed Education Catalyst Fund makes two bets

11 January, 2018

Education Catalyst Fund, which is managed by global philanthropic organisation Michael and Susan Dell Foundation-backed CBA Capital, has made two more investments in the education space.

The fund invested in Bengaluru-based Kopykitab and Noida-based Buddy4Study to take the number of its portfolio firms to three, it said in a statement.

Early this week, VCCircle first reported that the fund made its debut investment in Delhi-headquartered virtual reality startup Simulanis. Founded in 2013, Simulanis initially offered skilling programmes for engineering students via computer-based modules. It went on to offer work environment simulations to train employees besides incorporating virtual and augmented reality into its offerings in 2015

The fund, which target pre-Series A, Series A and Series B equity rounds, has made a commitment of around Rs 15 crore across the three companies, it said.

“Only a fraction of all venture capital funding is going to the education sector but the long-term impact an investment in this sector can make is exponential,” said Vishal Bharat, managing partner, Education Catalyst Fund.

Kopykitab, which was founded by Sumeet Verma and Amit Shrivastava, offers a digital textbook platform that converts all traditional textbooks or publications in to digital format. It helps students access embedded multimedia and reference content and also enables them to annotate notes and share them with a broader study group. The company plans to roll out a fully interactive platform for adaptive learning.

Buddy4Study was founded by Ashutosh Burnwal, Manjeet Singh and Manasvi in 2011. The company has developed technology based solutions for students to manage their scholarship applications. Through their online scholarship management system, students can find, screen, apply and track their performance for India-based scholarships. The same platform can be used by scholarship sponsors to list, market, screen, fund and track applicants.

Education Catalyst Fund
In October, VCCircle had reported that Education Catalyst Fund had marked the first close of the fund after raising nearly two-thirds of the target corpus.

Geeta Goel, vice president of mission investing at MSDF, had said the final close is expected towards the end of 2018. The Category II alternative investment fund, floated last September, has a target corpus of $20 million.

Apart from MSDF, the other limited partners in the fund include US-based impact investment foundation Gray Matters Capital and a few private Indian investors.

MSDF has wrapped up investments from its earlier education fund – India Educational Investment Fund (IEIF). The fund, which was originally a proprietary fund of MSDF based in Delaware, was managed by CBA Capital.

IEIF invested in six firms including test preparation platform Oliveboard, English language learning solutions provider ChipperSage and teacher training platform GuruG.

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Michael and Susan Dell Foundation-backed Education Catalyst Fund makes two bets

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