Tiger Global leads $65 million investment in Indian edtech Classplus

Updated at 2 pm IST on June 24: Classplus said on Thursday it has raised $65 million in a Series C round led by Tiger Global. GSV Ventures, along with existing investors Alpha Wave Incubation (AWI), which is backed by DisruptAD and managed by Falcon Edge, Blume Ventures and RTP Global also participated in the round.

The round includes both primary and secondary transactions, a source familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

“When lockdowns struck India, Classplus emerged as the critical infrastructure software for the $30bn offline tutoring industry. With the platform growing nearly 10x in the last 12 months, GSV views it as a ‘Weapon of Mass Instruction.’ Co-founders Mukul and Bhaswat are empowering tutors in India to go online, enabling them to build bigger and stronger businesses while also expanding access to localized education,” said Deborah Quazzo, Managing Partner at GSV Ventures, in a statement.

Our original story follows.

Tiger Global is in talks to lead a $30 million investment in Indian edtech startup Classplus, according to sources familiar with the matter.

The new round, which includes both primary investment and secondary transactions, values the five-year-old Indian startup at over $250 million, two sources told TechCrunch.

The new round adds to another ~$30 million investment that was led by GSV recently, one of the sources said. The new round hasn’t closed, so terms may change.

Classplus — which has built a Shopify-like platform for coaching centers to accept fees digitally from students and deliver classes and study material online — also raised $10.3 million in September last year from Falcon Edge’s AWI, cricketer Sourav Ganguly and existing investors RTP Global and Blume Ventures. That round had valued Classplus at about $73 million, according to research firm Tracxn.

Classplus didn’t respond to a request for comment. Sources requested anonymity, as the matter is private.

As tens of millions of students — and their parents — embrace digital learning apps, Classplus is betting that hundreds of thousands of teachers and coaching centers that have gained reputation in their neighborhoods are here to stay.

The startup is serving these hyperlocal tutoring centers that are present in nearly every nook and cranny in India. “Anyone who was born in a middle-class family here has likely attended these tuition classes,” Mukul Rustagi, co-founder and chief executive of Classplus, told TechCrunch last year.

“These are typically small and medium setups that are run by teachers themselves. These teachers and coaching centers are very popular in their locality. They rarely do any marketing and students learn about them through word-of-mouth buzz,” he said then.

Rustagi had described Classplus as “Shopify for coaching centers.” Like Shopify, Classplus does not serve as a marketplace that offers discoverability to these teachers or coaching centers and instead it offers a way for these teachers to leverage its tech platform to engage with customers.

This year, Tiger Global has backed — or in talks to back — about two dozen startups in India.

The story was updated on June 24.