Teach For India, a non-profit organisation aiming to eliminate educational inequity in the country, has raised $2.5 million (Rs 13.4 crore) funding from Omidyar Network.
The monies raised will be used to cover new schools and expand its operations across new cities in order to accelerate vital improvements in Indian education system, the company has said.
Teach For India, modelled after Teach For America, was incorporated nearly four years ago. It enables college graduates and young professionals to commit two years and teach full-time in under resourced schools. In June 2009, Teach For India placed its first cohort of Fellows in low-income municipal and private schools in Pune and Mumbai.
The organisation was founded by its current CEO Shaheen Mistri who is also the founder of Akanksha Foundation, a not-for-profit supporting underprivileged children. Incidentally, Ashish Dhawan, co-founder of the Indian PE firm ChrysCapital, is one of the board members of Teach For India.
This is the second education sector investment in India by Omidyar in as many months and third in the field this year.
Omidyar Network, incorporated in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, is an investment firm specialising in early, mid and late-venture investments, as well as non-profit organisations. Bulk of its investments supports companies in India and Sub-Saharan Africa and focuses on areas like microfinance, SMEs, emerging market ventures and property rights.
Last month, Omidyar invested an undisclosed sum in Gurgaon-based Aspiring Minds, an employability assessment company that provides standardised employability benchmarks to students and enables employers to evaluate students for job placements. Earlier in April, Omidyar had invested in Tree House Education in a pre-IPO round, along with existing investors Matrix Partners India and Foundation Capital.
Other organisations that have received investments from Omidyar include Janaagraha Centre For Citizenship & Democracy, Foundation For Ecological Security, D.light Design, Quikr India, Sa-Dhan, Rural Development Institute and Comat Technolgies, according to VCCedge, the financial research platform of VCCircle.