US-based social investor Village Capital will invest in two ed-tech startups from India—Logic Roots Pvt Ltd and Project Mudra which is operated by Thinkerbell Labs Pvt. Ltd.
Each startup will get $50,000 (Rs 32 lakh) as seed funding, Village Capital said in a statement.
The two startups were selected by peers as the top ventures of ‘Education: India 2017’, a programme run by Village Capital. They were part of a cohort of 13 Indian education startups which were selected from among 120 applicants focused on solving problems in K-12 education.
The three-month programme was run by Village Capital and funded by Omidyar Network, which was started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The investment firm backs startups which try to make economic and social changes.
“The entrepreneurs participating in this programme share a common vision – improving learning outcomes for students in India. We are excited about Omidyar Network’s support to help these ventures achieve business growth and scale. We invested in the two ventures because other entrepreneurs in the cohort believed in their potential to scale,” said Deepak Menon, Village Capital’s regional manager in Asia.
Omidyar Network will also explore whether the participating companies would be a good fit for its education portfolio, the firm said.
"Improving the quality of education is an important area of focus for Omidyar Network,” said Roopa Kudva, partner and managing director - India at Omidyar Network. “We are supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem through our partnership with Village Capital and others to accelerate the performance of high potential education startups that are developing innovative and scalable solutions,” Kudva said.
Jaipur-based Logic Roots designs social math games for students of class 1 to 5. The startup was launched in 2011 by IIT Bombay alumni Kunal Gandhi and Gunjan Agrawal. In 2015, the firm had raised $400,000 in angel funding.
Project Mudra builds literacy devices for the visually impaired. In July this year, it had raised Rs 1.3 crore in angel investment from Indian Angel Network and Anand Mahindra, chairman and managing director of the Mahindra Group.
Thinkerbell, which runs Project Mudra, was founded in 2016 by four BITS Pilani graduates—Sanskriti Dawle, Aman Srivastava, Dilip Ramesh and Saif Shaikh. Its flagship product Annie helps visually impaired read, write and type in Braille. Annie can be used by children and young people to self-learn Braille and can be monitored by teachers or parents.
In September, Village Capital invited applications for its FinTech: India 2017 programme which will train and invest in early-stage fin-tech startups.