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Sequoia-backed Classplus acquihires back-office automation firm Merak.ai
L to R_Bhaswat Agarwal and Mukul Rustagi, Co-Founders, Classplus

Classplus, a startup that helps coaching centres go online, has acquihired Merak.ai, which automates back-office processes. 

"We synergised well with the team and appreciate their experience of working with marquee customers including Societe Generale, Swiggy, and PolicyBazaar during their time at Merak.ai," said Mukul Rustagi, CEO at Classplus.

Vibhor Kalra, co-founder of Merak.ai, will be joining Classplus as assistant vice-president of product.

The deal sum was not disclosed.

Merak.ai manages data-entry processes as well as digitises template-based documents. 

The startup also helps enterprises in their KYC (know your customer) processes. It extracts relevant information and faces from images of KYC documents.

Classplus

Classplus, which was known as XPrep, was founded in 2018 by Rustagi and Bhaswat Agarwal. Prior to setting up Classplus, Rustagi was a derivatives analyst at stock market research firm Futures First. Agarwal was a technology strategist at software giant Microsoft.  

The platform, owned by Bunch Microtechnologies Pvt. Ltd, is a mobile-first, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform for private coaching centres. 

It helps coaching centres take their business online and streamline all their communication, content distribution, payments and online assessments through its app. 

Classplus claims it has over 3,000 tutors across more than 50 Indian cities, catering to over 500,000 students on a regular basis.

The edtech startup had raised $2.5 million (Rs 17.8 crore) in its pre-Series A round of funding from Blume Ventures and Sequoia Capital India’s Surge programme for early-stage ventures early this year.

It secured Rs 11 crore in May last year in a funding round led by Times Internet Ltd (a subsidiary of media house Bennett, Coleman and Co. Ltd) and GREE Ventures, a Singapore-based venture capital fund. 

Previously, the company had raised funding from Japanese VC firm Spiral Ventures and the Netherlands’ Rising Stars Fund.

Ed-tech deals

While startups such as Byju’s and Unacademy have made headlines for large-ticket investments by marquee investors and global corporations, early-stage startups are raising funding as well.

Last month, VCCircle reported that Any Time Classes Educational Services Pvt. Ltd had raised funding from Mumbai Angels Network.

In April, government exam-focused Pariksha raised an undisclosed sum of funding as an extension of its pre-Series A round. The extension exercise was led by INSEAD Angels, with participation from IIT-Kanpur Angels, Nikhil Vora and Swati Mehra of Sixth Sense Ventures, among others.

That month, online tutorial platform Lido Learning raised around $13.5 million as part of its Series B financing. Also in April, venture capital firms Matrix Partners and SAIF Partners invested $4 million (Rs 30 crore) in ed-tech platform Camp K12.

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