Mumbai-based ed-tech startup Eruditus is the latest entrant to the Indian unicorn club. It raised $650 million in a new Series E financing round led by Accel and SoftBank Vision Fund 2 on August 12, 2021.
The startup’s valuation has quadrupled given the unprecedented boom in the ed-tech sector owing to the shift to online education triggered by the pandemic-induced restrictions.
Ten-year-old Eruditus works with top universities globally to offer more than 100 executive-level courses to students in over 80 nations. The current valuation is $3.2 billion, up from about $700 million a year ago.
“With this fundraiser, we’re excited to scale our unique business model, continue to deliver strong learning outcomes, and grow our global impact at a rapid rate,” said Ashwin Damera, co-founder and CEO, Eruditus.
The third highest valued ed-tech startup in India
The fresh funds, which were made up of a mix of primary $430 million and secondary funding of $220 million, bring the company’s valuation to $3.2 billion. The funding round also saw investment from the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
Before this, the company had raised $113 million in a Series D round led by Leeds Illuminate and Prosus Ventures. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) and Sequoia Capital India are among their backers.
“With the rapid rate of technological disruption, continuous upskilling is necessary for today’s job market. The company’s partnerships with elite universities and use of technology and data to create and deliver high-quality courses positions it to lead in this space,” said Sumer Juneja, Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers.
Founded in 2010 by Chaitanya Kalipatnapu and Ashwin Damera, Eruditus works with top universities to develop courses aimed at offering higher education to students. These courses cost anything between $5,000 to $40,000 and are provided through off-campus or online mode.
Proceeds from the fresh funding will be utilized to develop new courses in conjunction with university partners. In addition, it will be used to create new products and industry verticals, double down on new geographical markets, and fund acquisitions.
The booming Indian ed-tech sector
The funding propelled the ed-tech startup into the coveted unicorn club and marked it as the fourth ed-tech unicorn in India and the 23rd from India.
It is SoftBank’s second major bet in India’s ed-tech sector. The Japanese conglomerate has also invested in Bengaluru-based Unacademy, the second-highest valued ed-tech startup after Byju’s.
Unacademy raised $440 million earlier this month in a funding round led by Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. Apart from that, Ronnie Screwvala-led higher education platform upGrad entered the unicorn club earlier this week, after raising $185 million from Temasek, IFC (International Finance Corporation, a sister organization of the World Bank) and IIFL.