Pearson invests in Delhi-based start-up Avanti Learning Centres

Publishing and education services company Pearson Plc announced that the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF) has invested in Delhi-based start-up Avanti Learning Centres, which will use the money to develop a comprehensive learning and monitoring system and to build new centres. 

The financial details of the transaction, however, have not been disclosed. As per a statement, two more angel investors also contributed to the funding.

This is the second investment made by the fund in India and third overall the fund has made so far since its launch in July 2012.

Founded in March 2010 by Akshay Saxena and Krishna Ramkumar as a non-profit entity, Avanti Learning helps prepare students from low-income families for their college entrance tests. The firm focuses on competitive career fields such as medicine and engineering, according to the statement.

“Our investment allows us to partner with a mission-led company to bridge a crucial gap between secondary and higher education for low-income learners. PALF is enthused to support the Avanti team to successfully grow across India, and we look forward to working with them to deliver on their long-term vision,” PALF executive director, Katelyn Donnelly, said.

At present, the education start-up has its centres in seven cities—Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kanpur, Dehradun, Roorkee and Puducherry.

The company charges only $20 per month from the students and costs are kept low by a network of volunteers and partners, including universities and businesses that help with teaching and admin.

Pearson launched PALF in July 2012 with a capital of $15 million to invest in private companies which offer affordable educational services and schooling in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Recently, PALF and US-based investor Village Capital had invested $150,000 in Experifun Learning Solutions, which designs science learning aids, and Sudiksha Knowledge Solution that operates low-income pre-schools.

Earlier in April this year, London-listed Pearson acquired entire 50% equity stake of Educomp Solutions Ltd in IndiaCan, a vocational training firm they jointly started in 2009, for an undisclosed amount.

Also, in February, Pearson completed its acquisition of TutorVista that runs schools and provides tuitions over the Internet.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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