Michael & Susan Dell Foundation puts $2M in virtual classroom solutions co Edutel

Bangalore-based Edutel Technologies Pvt Ltd, a provider of virtual classrooms for students in government and low-fee private schools, has secured Rs 12.4 crore (around $2 million) in funding from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF), a philanthropic organisation launched by Dell founder.

Edutel will use the funds to set up centres across various cities in India.

“Edutel has been working as a partner with MSDF for over three years in delivering satellite & advanced multimedia education to affordable private and public schools for the benefit of thousands of urban poor children,” said Soorya KN, director of Edutel. 

"The support and inputs by the foundation in the preliminary days helped us to grow sooner, yet without losing the social focus. It shall help us expand critical infrastructure needed to educate underprivileged students on a pan-India level,” he added.

Edutel was founded by siblings Harsha Mahabala and Soorya. Mahabala holds a degree in Computer Science from MS Ramaiah College of Engineering and an executive MBA from IIM Bangalore, while his brother is an alumnus of SDM College of Engineering (Dharwad).

Edutel provides educational solutions through patented satellite and internet technology for academic curricula, competitive exams, personality development and even recruitment readiness. Its programmes include SAME (for Science, Maths and English), SatLight (a live interactive programme), Get-Photon (for competitive exams), and Campus Live (for personality skills development).

The firm has partnered with top faculties in the country such as ace professors from Mangalore, IIT-JEE faculties from Kota, Hyderabad and Bangalore and other expert resources across the country for various programmes.

Started in 1999 by Michael Dell, MSDF invests in companies in the US, South Africa and India. Early this week it invested in Bangalore-based micro, small & medium enterprise (MSME) focused non-banking finance company Kinara Capital. In the past, it had invested in LabourNet Services India Pvt Ltd along with social VC fund Acumen.

Unitus Capital was the sole financial advisor on the Edutel transaction. “Edutel is the confluence of strong academic credentials and cutting-edge communications technology that enables it to reach millions of poor children, who earlier did not have access to affordable resources for quality education. We believe that Edutel will continue to provide education to the underprivileged, not just nationally but internationally as well,” said Abhishek Fogla, vice president at Unitus.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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