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Sequoia Capital bets on executive education firm Eruditus
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Eruditus Learning Solutions Pte Ltd, which offers executive learning programmes globally, has raised $40 million (Rs 282 crore) in its Series C round of funding led by global venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.

The Singapore-headquartered company’s existing investor Bertelsmann India Investments also participated in this round, it said in a statement.  

Eruditus said it will use the funds mainly to increase its course offerings in high-demand subject areas such as data science, machine learning, blockchain and cybersecurity. It will also use the money to expand its language offerings to include Portuguese and Mandarin, in addition to English and Spanish.  

“We will use the proceeds of this latest fundraise to create a more immersive and adaptive learning platform, to expand our multilingual capabilities, and to ensure that our omni-channel offerings are readily available to our students on-the-go,” Ashwin Damera, co-founder of Eruditus.

In the current fiscal year, Eruditus claims to have enrolled 30,000 students from 80 countries in courses delivered in collaboration with university partners such as MIT, Columbia and Harvard Business School.  

The company aims to increase its enrollment by more than 10 times within the next five years across certificate courses and online degrees.

GV Ravishankar, managing director at Sequoia Capital India Advisors, said that the VC firm has been an active investor in the education sector over the past several years. He added that Eruditus is using technology to bring industry-ratified education programmes to consumers at scale.

Avendus Capital acted as the financial adviser for the transaction.

Eruditus was founded in 2010 by INSEAD graduate Chaitanya Kalipatnapu and Harvard Business School alumnus Damera.

Kalipatnapu had previously worked with Sun Microsystems. Damera, a chartered accountant, was in the past associated with Citibank and had also founded travel website Travelguru.com.

Eruditus offers customised and open business programmes in India, Singapore and Dubai, among other locations. It collaborates with experts from business schools such as MIT Sloan, INSEAD and Wharton to deliver its programmes, which take place in the form of workshops, modular sessions and online courses.

The company’s corporate clientele includes Deustche Bank, Microsoft, Altisource, HSBC, Vodafone, Accenture and Asian Paints.

It had last year raised debt funding from InnoVen Capital. It had also raised Rs 53 crore ($8.2 million) in a Series B round from Bertelsmann India in 2017.

Eruditus competes with online certification course provider Simplilearn Learning Solutions, which is backed by investors such as Kalaari Capital and Helion Ventures, and Lumis Partners-backed TalentEdge.

Bengaluru-based Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, which runs ed-tech startup Byju’s, has attracted the most attention from bulge-bracket investors in the broader ed-tech sector.

Byju’s recently raised $540 million (Rs 3,855 crore) in a round led by South African tech conglomerate Naspers. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board contributed a significant portion to the massive funding round.

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