As scores of Indian edtech startups populate their catalogs with live and recorded courses to reach and serve students in the world’s second-largest internet market, a handful of new-age firms are beginning to explore different approaches to tackle the challenge.
Teachmint, one such startup that is helping teachers and institutes create their own virtual classrooms with a few taps on their smartphones and build direct relationship with students, has raised $78 million in its Series B financing round, TechCrunch has learned and confirmed.
Rocketship.vc and Vulcan Capital co-led the new round, the startup said on Monday. The new round values the 16-month-old Indian edtech firm at $500 million, according to two people familiar with the matter. (Teachmint has raised over $115 million to date.)
Mihir Gupta, co-founder and chief executive of Teachmint, confirmed the size of the new funding round in a text message, but declined to comment on the valuation. Goodwater Capital and Epiq Capital as well as existing investors Learn Capital, CM Ventures, Lightspeed India and Better Capital also participated in the round, he said.
The new investment comes months after the startup was approached by one of the two Indian edtech giants that offered Teachmint a $400 million acquisition price, according to three sources familiar with the matter. Teachmint declined the offer. Gupta declined to comment.
The startup, which began its journey just weeks after the pandemic broke, is building what it calls the “ed-infra” for teachers in India to help them take online classes, engage with students virtually, assign them tasks, conduct attendance and also collect fees.
This approach is different from edtech giants such as Byju’s, Unacademy and Vedantu, where teachers don’t have a direct relationship with their students.
And Teachmint’s model is working. The startup has amassed over 10 million users in the country, it said. It also offers its ed-infra service to institutes and said over 4,000 such institutions in India and overseas are using it.
At stake is India’s online education market with over 200 million school-going children. The market is estimated to generate $5 billion in revenue by 2025 (up from about $1 billion last year), according to analysts at Goldman Sachs.
“Since inception, we have been laser-focused on addressing the big technology-infrastructure gap that exists in education. Over the past 16 months, we have been humbled by the experience of powering the teaching and learning infrastructure for millions of teachers and students across India,” said Gupta.
“From supporting individual teachers to powering K-12 schools, coaching institutes, colleges, universities and even edtechs, we are disrupting technology penetration in education at an unprecedented pace. We are thrilled to welcome onboard Rocketship.vc and Vulcan Capital along with Goodwater Capital and Epiq Capital. We are also grateful to have the continuous support of our existing investors as we execute our vision at the global stage.”
The startup said it will deploy the fresh capital to hire talent across product, technology and design roles and will soon offer its employees its biggest stock buyback option.
“Teachmint has addressed a latent technology problem in the education sector and are well positioned to scale their offering globally. Strong leadership combined with the passion and conviction to solve this, makes us a strong believer. We are glad to be on this rocket-ship,” said Madhu Shalini Iyer, partner at Rocketship.vc, in a statement.