Pearson and Village Capital to fund up to $150K in two Indian education startups

Pearson, a learning company which acquired online education firm TutorVista and also runs business daily Financial Times, has partnered with social investor Village Capital to support and invest in education entrepreneurs in India who are focused on serving the bottom-of-the-pyramid market in the country. Select education startups will receive up to $75,000 (Rs 45 lakh) in funding and will be selected through peer review by fellow entrepreneurs.

As per a company statement, it will shortlist around 16 startups who will participate in workshops this autumn in which they will be offered mentoring advice from other entrepreneurs, investors and professionals. Of these, top two ranking companies will receive up to $75,000 each drawn from $100,000 and $50,000 of capital committed by the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund and Village Capital, respectively. The startups can be in either tech or non-tech ventures.

Applications are due by mid-August and selected companies will be announced at the end of November.

The Pearson Affordable Learning Fund was started last July with $15 million in initial capital from Pearson.

“Through this, we hope to reach out to the brilliant minds who have the knowledge and the dedication to make a substantial difference in the domain of education and learning at the grassroots level,” said Ranu Kawatra, CEO and president, Pearson Education India.

Pearson provides educational materials and services, business information through the Financial Times Group, and consumer publishing through the Penguin brand. It employs 41,000 people in more than 70 countries. The firm completed the acquisition of TutorVista in February this year after acquiring majority stake in the firm a few years ago. Earlier this year, Pearson launched Power School, a web-based student information system in eight of its schools across four states in the country.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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