Edupreneur Village Fund, an early stage Ed-Tech focused Venture Capital Fund, hosted India’s first-of-its-kind live EdTech investment event: The Final Battle on 31st August at The Leela Ambience Hotel, Delhi. Modelled on the lines of Shark Tank, it had 10 Ed-Tech Startups, shortlisted from 1100+ Investment Applications, pitching on-stage in front of 50+ Investors and 350+ EdTech industry and startup enthusiasts who witnessed the event.
The grand finale went on to be a huge success, with the event being completely sold out with more than 500 seats filled. At the end of the event, Edupreneur Village announced early-stage investment declarations in Scholr and Don’t Memorise. The details of the investments will be disclosed soon. The Fund also announced partnerships with Mintbook and One0x.
Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal, Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India, posted on Twitter, “Education transformation needs entrepreneurial innovation, pleased to know that Sri Aurobindo Society's Edupreneur Village has helped refine 1,100+ EdTech innovations across India to bring out the 50 most promising startups. Unique education effort aligning with #StartupIndia.”
On the day, the selected startups successfully pitched to a jury and audience of 50+ investors, keen on investing in the Ed-Tech space, including SAIF Partners, Blume Ventures, Lumis Partners, Lead Angels, Indian Angel Network, Tomorrow Capital, and many more HNI Investors.
Each pitch was 30 minutes long, followed by questions by the jury and the Investors. The innovations brought in by the finalists were highly appreciated and covered the broad spectrum of the Ed-Tech space.
The 10 finalists also received 48 investment interests from the investors among the audience, the discussions for which will take place over the next few weeks.
In addition, the cash prizes declared by the Fund were as follows:
- INR 3 lakh – Don’t Memorise
- INR 2 lakh – One0x
- INR 1 lakh – Clap Global
- INR 50,000 – Mintbook
- INR 25,000 – Memory Trix
A jury member from Lumis Partners said, “Models have taken inspiration from global businesses which gives them validation, where the India story is yet to play out – the current market leader Byju’s is about to face stiff competition. Some models (like CogniAble) are forcing us to rethink the way we view the Ed-Tech space with facets of Healthcare and Social impact blending in.”
Edupreneur Village is an ambitious initiative of Sri Aurobindo Society, a 60+-year-old non-profit organization with 300+ centres across the world. The occasion also marked the launch of Sri Aurobindo Society’s new initiative “Auro Scholar”, a radical first-of-its-kind Scholarship platform, with the objective to give micro-scholarships to produce learning outcomes of millions of Indian students.
This programme aims to create a revolutionary ripple effect among current students across India. For this project, the Auro Scholar has already partnered with Cambridge University Press as the Question Bank Partner, and Scholr – AI-driven homework helping Ed-Tech App. In order to ensure payments of small amounts every month to millions of students across the country, Auro Scholar will also very soon announce its partnership with the Mobile Wallet of one of the leading Banks of the country.
Scholr also happens to be an investee company of Edupreneur Village Fund, and had secured an early-stage round of funding of INR 2.5 Crores in 2018, from a range of financial and strategic investors, led by the Fund. Using Artificial Intelligence technology, Scholr aims to cater 300mn students in any vernacular Indian language.
Nitin Bhalla, who heads Edupreneur Village has a bold view about the future of Indian Ed-Tech ecosystem – “Time has come to harness Ed-Tech innovation to solve The Great Indian Education Problem, which is the constantly falling Learning Outcomes. By chanellising early-stage Capital in Ed-Tech start-ups through Edupreneur Village and by providing millions of Customers at low acquisition costs, to the very same Ed-Tech start-ups through our Auro Scholar programme, we envision Ed-Tech innovation to reach millions of Indian students at low price points. This will improve Learning Outcomes of Indian students at scale not imagined so far.”
Sambhrant Sharma, who is an Executive Member of Sri Aurobindo Society talks about Sri Aurobindo Society’s bold new initiatives in Education, “In true traditions of Sri Aurobindo Society, our new initiatives Edupreneur Village and Auro Scholar have both quality and inclusiveness at heart – India’s education problem is not of Quality alone, but Quality to be delivered with scale, diversity and affordability, which is unlike any other country. Edupreneur Village and Auro Scholar are designed to give new solutions with precisely the above principles in mind.”
After the event, Eustan Ventures posted on Twitter, “It's great to see the efforts by Edupreneur Village in cultivating the teams of founders who are focused to bring change in the way education system works.”