Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, the philanthropic venture of Dell Technologies founder’s family, along with unnamed US-based tech investors, has backed spoken English tutoring startup Kings Learning with a $2.5 million (around Rs 16 crore) funding.
Kings Learning, which operates mobile app Enguru, aims to address the employability challenge faced by Indian youth due to poor English language and communication skills through offline, online and blended delivery channels.
Enguru allows users to learn English in their native language and currently supports 28 languages. The app has been downloaded around 2 million times to date, and is currently being used to improve spoken English skills by more than 120,000 active users monthly. Arshan Vakil, co-founder and CEO, Kings Learning, said the app’s platform is gamified with real-time assessments, which makes it easier for not just individuals but also corporates to use it for training modules for employees.
“English has become a ticket to enter the booming knowledge-driven job economy of India. However, a few have access to quality English language training. Almost half of the graduates in India, primarily from underprivileged backgrounds, are considered unemployable in most sectors due to the lack of spoken English skills,” Prachi Windlass, education director, India, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, said in a statement.
Mobile internet explosion, supplemented by the work of startups such as Kings Learning, is helping address this problem, she said.
Michael & Susan Dell Foundation has been making impact investments in the education space. Recently, the foundation, along with Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra, backed social impact-focused education venture NEST.
It has earmarked $50 million for India and has backed at least half a dozen startups in the field of education in the last one year, besides backing early stage ventures in other segments. Some of those investments were through its India Education Investment Fund. It has funded test preparation companies OliveBoard and OnlineTyari. It has also backed other edtech ventures such as ConveGenius, education loan firm Shiksha and English proficiency solution provider for school kids ChipperSage.