India’s Eruditus valued at $3.2 billion in $650 million fundraise

Mumbai-based Eruditus, which works with top universities globally to offer more than 100 executive-level courses to students in over 80 nations, said on Thursday it has raised $650 million in a new financing round led by Accel and SoftBank Vision Fund 2.

The new financing round — which includes both primary and secondary transactions — values the 10-year-old Indian startup at $3.2 billion, up from about $700 million a year ago. The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board also participated in the new round.

Eruditus, which counts Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Sequoia Capital India among its backers, maintains a tie-up with more than 30 top-tier universities, including MIT, Harvard, Columbia, Cambridge, INSEAD, Wharton, UC Berkeley, IIT, IIM and NUS. The universities and Eruditus work to develop courses that are aimed at offering higher education to students. These courses cost anything between $5,000 to $40,000.

The startup said it will deploy the fresh funds to develop more courses and build new products.

“With this fundraise, 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 chief executive of Eruditus. Damera has sold stake worth as much as $100 million in the new round.

The new fundraise comes at a time when Indian startups are raising record capital from high-profile investors. India, which is the world’s second-largest internet market, has produced over 23 unicorns this year (Eruditus is the 23rd), up from 11 last year and six in 2019. Some investors have also doubled down on the South Asian market after China, one of the other rare big-growth markets, enforced a series of regulatory changes that has wiped hundreds of billions of dollars in recent weeks.

“With the rapid rate of technological disruption, continuous upskilling is necessary in today’s job market,” said Sumer Juneja, partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, in a statement. “The company’s partnerships with elite universities, and use of technology and data to create and deliver high-quality courses positions Eruditus to lead in this space.”

Eruditus is SoftBank’s second major bet on India’s edtech market. The Japanese investment firm has also backed Unacademy.

UpGrad, a Bangalore-based startup that specializes in higher education and upskilling courses, joined the unicorn club earlier this week. VerSe Innovation, which operates news aggregator service Dailyhunt and short video apps Josh, said early Thursday that it has raised over $450 million in a new financing round.