Vriti Infocom Private Limited, an exam preparation platform company, has raised $5 million in series-B funding led by JAFCO Asia along with a follow-on investment from existing backer Intel Capital. The new round of funding would be used primarily for sales expansion besides the continuing investment in technology.
Noida-based Vriti has created a cloud, SAAS-based platform where students can assess their performance for various tests on a larger, pan-India scale by logging on to its platform. While large test preparation chains like FIITJEE (for engineering) and IMS (for management) do provide students mock exams on a large scale, Virit's platform also enables relatively smaller players to offer this service.
"While the FIITJEEs want to come to the top level, we enable others to come up to their levels by providing them infrastructure, the applications, sales support, technology, etc. There are more than 1,000 major exams in India," said Swapnil Shrivastav, co-founder and CEO of Vriti Infocom. Vriti provides comparative performance assessment reports and personalised study tips, besides content aggregated from various authors and publishers.
Vriti's business model involves partnering with tutors, coaching institutions, publishers, schools, colleges and universities and charging them on a per-student basis.
For example, publishers who have tests on their books can give the option to students for their comparative standing by accessing Vriti's online platform. This sort of model also creates recurring revenues for publishers, because when this book is passed on to a sibling or a relative, a new login is required after expiry.
Vriti’s proprietary nationwide platform has seen around 475 partner deployments in schools, coaching centres and colleges with over 375,000 students enrolled, and is already India’s largest such platform. Shrivastav says that there are 4.5 lakh business partner opportunities. "The distribution points are fairly large and they (schools, tutors, etc.) don't want to invest money in building a portal, testing platform and in additional infrastructure," said Shrivastav.
Vriti, which raised $2.5 million from Intel Capital in 2008, will look at ramping up sales. Proceeds from the first round were used in building the platform and getting key clients, which include companies like Punjab Technical University, Brilliant Tutorials, etc. The company, which is currently focusing on domestic expansion, also has clients in London and Dubai.
"Since last year, we have seen considerable customer traction as we have developed the features of our platform. We are now signing up over 100 paying partners and rolling out about 10 new examinations each quarter. We have now deployed our platform with partners in over 80 cities across India and abroad,” said Shrivastav in a release.
“Vriti’s platform is independent of language and exam type, and is therefore highly scalable. Within India alone, 60 million students prepare for curricular, competitive entrance and professional exams every year, and are served by more than 200,000 schools and 300,000 coaching houses and tutors. We therefore see a massive untapped market for Vriti within India and, in future, elsewhere,” said JAFCO Asia’s Murli Ravi, who now joins Vriti’s board of directors.