– Company’s active user base has quadrupled in the past six months
– Capital will be used to improve the product offerings and scale the technology platform
– RTP Global leads Series A round with follow on investment from Sequoia Capital India’s Surge and Blume Ventures
Classplus, the Indian B2B EdTech startup enabling offline coaching institutes to take their businesses online, has raised a USD 9M Series A round of financing, led by RTP Global , the early stage tech investor. Existing investors including Blume Ventures, Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, Spiral Ventures and Strive also participated in the capital raise.
Despite the advent of e-learning, the Indian tutoring ecosystem is dominated by offline tutoring shops, commonly termed as coaching centres. Hundreds of thousands of such neighbourhood setups act as the primary source of academic support for the 70M+ students taking private tutoring in India every year.
Over the decades, these standalone centers have instilled a strong reverence in the students’ and parents’ minds owing to their great pedagogy and a strong hyperlocal presence, but they face acute challenges in giving their students a digital learning experience, a must in todays’ internet age.
Classplus aims to tech-enable this massive but highly fragmented market, by helping tutors run all their communication, payments, practice tests, schedules and online learning programmes on their smartphones. It opens up a new-age content distribution channel, allowing tutors to generate additional income opportunities by monetising their online assessments and video lessons. With time, Classplus plans to expand distribution offerings beyond content to other educational products, helping tutors address all student needs in a cohesive online environment.
The new capital injection comes off the back of a hugely successful year for Classplus. The active user base has quadrupled over the last six months and tutors are performing 50% more activities on the platform than they used to do in the last quarter. With the trend of exams going digital in the country, online assessments conducted on the platform are doubling every quarter. The platform is also working with content publishers to establish an easier access to online assessments for the ecosystem.
The capital infusion will be used to improve the technology while expanding the product offerings. The platform is currently used by 3,000+ coaching centres across 70+ cities and towns in India, majority of which are non-metropolis in nature. Classplus is expanding its product, engineering and business teams, including strategic leadership hires to drive expansion as it scales rapidly. Smartphone users have surpassed 500 million in India in 2019 and the company will capitalize on this continued growth of internet access, and improving digital literacy for an ever growing swathe of customers.
Mukul Rustagi, Co-Founder and CEO of Classplus, said: “This new round of funding will enable us to serve more teachers and ensure that they have access to effective digital teaching solutions. India is home to the largest after-school tuition market in the world and delivery models keep evolving as we speak. We believe teachers are real-life superheroes and it is our duty to empower them with a new-age arsenal . As national examinations move online, so must after-school tuition practices, and this new round of funding is a testament to Classplus’ ability to digitise the ecosystem.”
Kirill Kozhevnikov, Partner at RTP Global, added: “ According to the Global Teacher Status Index by the Varkey foundation in 2018, India was among the top-10 in the world in respecting teachers, though was in the last-10 in paying them. Classplus is liquidating this imbalance by empowering tutors with full-stack mobile solutions, while maintaining and further improving the high reputation of tutors. We are happy to back the company with this important mission, and have Classplus as our first edutech bet in India.”