Press release from Business Wire India
Source: Vriti Infocom
Tuesday, August 24, 2010 08:06 PM IST (02:36 PM GMT)
Editors: Business: Education & training, Financial Analyst, Information technology; Technology
Vriti Infocom Announces US$5 million Series B funding from JAFCO Asia and Intel Capital
Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India, Tuesday, August 24, 2010 — (Business Wire India) — Noida-based Vriti Infocom Private Limited, an exam preparation company today announced that it has closed a US$5 million Series B round of funding. JAFCO Asia led the round and Intel Capital, which had previously invested in the company’s Series A round in 2008, made a follow-on investment.
Vriti’s model involves creating a Knowledge Exchange where students consume practice examinations and quality content aggregated from numerous authors and publishers. This is distributed via schools, coaching classes and colleges. Besides high quality content made available in classrooms or online via each institution’s website, the Knowledge Exchange also provides each student preparing for a particular exam with aggregated, national-level comparative performance assessment reports and highly granular and personalized study tips.
Vriti’s proprietary nationwide platform has seen over 450 partner deployments in schools, coaching centres and colleges with over 375,000 students enrolled, and is already India’s largest such platform. Over 33 million questions have been answered. In addition, its free “edusocial” exam-based communities for students have over 500,000 registered students.
“Exam preparation is a key requirement for students and this can be monetized,” said Swapnil Shrivastav, founder and CEO of Vriti Infocom. “With thousands of exams, hundreds of thousands of authors & institutions, and millions of students, exam preparation represents a unique opportunity in education. Our Knowledge Exchange is directly analogous to exchanges such as the ones well established in travel, auctions, content sharing, etc. Similarly, we bring the various players in education together leveraging technology and social networking.”
Vriti’s cloud-based, SaaS business model allows even the smallest of distributors — such as a coaching centre run by an individual tutor in a small town such as Darbangha in Bihar — the ability to offer to its students the benefits of quality content, online testing, benchmarking against peers nationwide and personalized assessment. Vriti’s simple per-student pricing model means the distributor does not need to incur any upfront costs or change any pre-existing business process related to acquiring students and teaching them.
Mr. Shrivastav stated, “Since our first discussions with Intel Capital in 2008 and more recently with JAFCO Asia, we are excited to see that leading technology-focused funds see value in our proposition. Since last year, we have seen considerable customer traction as we have developed the features of our platform. We are now signing up over 100 paying partners and rolling out about 10 new examinations each quarter. We have now deployed our platform with partners in over 80 cities across India and abroad.”
JAFCO Asia’s Murli Ravi, who now joins Vriti’s board of directors, commented, “Vriti’s platform is independent of language and exam type, and is therefore highly scalable. Within India alone, 60 million students prepare for curricular, competitive entrance and professional exams every year, and are served by more than 200,000 schools and 300,000 coaching houses and tutors. We therefore see a massive untapped market for Vriti within India and, in future, elsewhere.”
On the Series B investment, Sudheer Kuppam, MD, Intel Capital APAC, said “Intel Capital’s commitment towards India’s infrastructure development is further reinforced through the investment in Vriti Infocom. Creating a robust education delivery infrastructure is key to India’s sustainable growth and Vriti’s technology platform provides easy access to quality content and personalized assessment to a plethora of education providers and aspiring students, even in the remotest corners of India. We hope that this investment, along with increasing broadband penetration, will enable Vriti’s ‘platform as a service’ business model to witness rapid growth.”
About Jafco Investment (Asia Pacific) Ltd (“JAFCO Asia”)
JAFCO Asia is one of the leading brands in the venture capital industry in the Asia-Pacific region. Its primary focus is to invest in promising technology enterprises with high growth potential. Headquartered in Singapore, and with entities in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei and Seoul, JAFCO Asia has around USD 650M in aggregate funds under management. It is an operating subsidiary of JAFCO Co. Ltd, which is part of the Nomura group of companies and is one of the largest private equity firms in Japan. JAFCO Co. Ltd has over USD 5B under management and is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. More information is available on www.jafcoasia.com.
About Intel Capital
Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, home, mobility, health, consumer Internet, semiconductor manufacturing and cleantech. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than USD 9.5 billion in over 1,050 companies in 47 countries. In that timeframe, 175 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and 241 were acquired or participated in a merger. In 2009, Intel Capital invested USD 327 million in 107 investments with approximately 50 percent of funds invested outside the United States and Canada. For more information on Intel Capital and its differentiated advantages, visit www.intelcapital.com.
Pankaj Vermani, Vriti Infocom, firstname.lastname@example.org
Saranya Rustagi, Intel, Saranya.email@example.com
EDUCATION, Financial Analyst, IT, TECHNOLOGY
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