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uFaber launches accelerator programme for early-stage edtech startups
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uFaber, operated by uFaber Edutech Pvt Ltd, on Thursday said it has launched an accelerator programme of Rs 10 crore (around $1.35 million) for early-stage startups in the edtech space.

uFaber, which claims to be profitable, said in a statement that it has set aside the amount for the programme from its internal accruals.

The programme will extend financial and operational support to the selected startups. The company will also provide access to its network, customer pool and related assets for the chosen startups, it said. uFaber has already identified and is in discussions with two to three startups to be part of its programme. 

Rohit Jain, co-founder and chief executive officer of uFaber, said that the company may also end up investing, partnering or acquiring the startups in the programme to fill its own gap.

uFaber, founded in 2015 by Jain and Anirudh Swarnkar, claims to have an annual revenue run rate of more than Rs 100 crore. The platform also claims to have more than 2 lakh annual student enrolments, over 500 school and university partners across India and more than 3,000 women trainers working from home. 

Jain also noted that the current euphoria around the edtech sector from investors in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic "hides a harsh reality".  

He explained that dozens of early-stage edtech startups are falling out of the purview of the venture capital investors due to the understandable focus on the visible and already scaled one. 

"It’s unfortunate because their success or scaling will positively impact the edtech and the education space overall," he said. Hence, the accelerator programme was also borne out of this industry trend of the focus largely on bigger edtech startups, he added.

The rising demand for remote learning in India has led to a lot of companies in the edtech space raising funds. Bigger startups have benefited from the Covid-19 tailwinds even as early-stage venture capital investments have not been totally missing. 

So far in 2021, three edtech companies have turned unicorns taking the total number of such startups boasting of a valuation of over $1 billion in the country to five.  

Executive education platform Eruditus and higher learning startup upGrad became unicorns in 2021, with Vedantu being the latest edtech company to join the club in late September after raising $100 million in a Series E round led by Singapore-based impact investor ABC World Asia. 

India’s edtech sector is expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of over 15% from $2.8 billion in 2020 to $30 billion in 2030, citing a BLinC Investment Management report, which also terms India as the world’s most active edtech market.

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