Toppr, one of the largest online learning startups in India, received $ 46 million in a new round of funding to scale its platform, including a new product.
The Dubai-based investment firm Foundation Holdings led the series D round of the seven-year-old startup from Mumbai. An existing investor, Kaizen Private Equity, also participated in the new round, which brings Toppr's previous increase to over $ 92 million.
Toppr operates four products and services aimed at K-12 students. The learning app, Toppr's Marquee Service, provides students with live classes and sessions to help clear up doubts, recorded lessons and tests.
Toppr's catalog covers 17 topics and prepares students for five dozen exams, Toppr founder and managing director Zishaan Hayath said in an interview with theinformationsuperhighway.
Part of the Toppr library is available to students in the learning app free of charge. Membership is required for full access. The subscription starts at 1,000 Indian rupees ($ 13.35) and goes up to 3,000 Indian rupees ($ 40).
The startup launched Codr last month, a product designed to help all school-age children learn computer programming. A Codr session costs approximately $ 9.35. Toppr also maintains a free problem-solving app that allows a student to take a picture of a question and immediately find a solution, Hayath explained.
In the background, the app uses character recognition and machine learning to sift through a large number of problems Toppr has accumulated over the years to determine the solution.
Toppr's learning app has amassed over 13 million users, of whom more than 150,000 subscribers pay. In the past few months, the startup has also been working on a new product called School OS, with which a school can digitize their learning experiences. Using School OS, a teacher can digitally assign and collect homework, and students can take part in live courses.
“You can also take courses from previous years or classes in front of them. Our school system is structured in such a way that you are always anchored in the curriculum for the current year. In the digital realm, one of the advantages is that you don't have to follow such rules. For example, if a student in tenth grade needs to refresh a ninth grade concept, they can do so at any time, ”said Hayath.
More than 40 schools have used School OS for their 60,000 students, he said. The startup plans to enroll 300,000 students for School OS over the next few months.
“Toppr has emerged as the busiest destination for K-12 learning and hosts over 1 million sessions daily. Toppr's more than 50,000 educators from across the country have contributed to over 35 lakh learning work, including questions, solutions, concepts, games and videos for students. Our investment in Toppr also reflects our commitment to empower great teachers through the new school operating system. The new school operating system already has more than 55,000 learners, ”said Aakash Sachdev, managing director of Foundation Holdings, in a statement.
Sachdev joined Toppr's board as part of the new round of financing. Foundation Holdings said it would work with Toppr to make the startup “IPO ready” in the coming years and publicly listed on the Nasdaq or other international stock exchange.
Hayath said the startup would continue to focus on scaling its various products and services and also investing a little in marketing – an aspect that Toppr had never spent a cent on.
Another relatively new area for Toppr is the investigation of merger and acquisition contracts. Hayath said the startup has so far opposed the idea of winning a team or company to grow inorganic, but is open to finding deals to find the right fit.
Toppr's announcement today of fundraising comes when Edtech startups in India are seeing a significant increase in their user base, at a time when companies in other industries are having trouble overcoming the coronavirus pandemic.
Byju’s, India’s most valuable edtech startup, raised around $ 23 million from Mary Meekers Bond last month. Unacademy, another learning platform in India, acquired a smaller company PrepLadder for about $ 50 million earlier this month. And two weeks ago, Vedantu said it had secured $ 100 million in a new round of financing.