CollegeDekho, India’s largest college admissions and higher education services platform, closes its Series B funding with Disrupt ADQ and QIC coming on board recently. The USD 35 million (~INR 260 crore) round has been led by Winter Capital, ETS Strategic Capital – the private equity investments arm of ETS (creator of the TOEFL® tests and GRE® General Test), Calega and existing investor Man Capital.
CollegeDekho is planning to use the funds to further improve its offerings for students and colleges both within India and Abroad. The company will increase its investment in products and technology while growing new verticals like Ed-Fin-Tech, student accommodation and coaching for higher Education. It is also considering expanding its study abroad services in global markets. The company will also use the funds raised for acquisitions and consolidation that make strategic sense.
Founded in 2015, CollegeDekho is on a mission to institutionalize students’ counselling in India. It connects prospective students with colleges using its proprietary technology and AI-based conversation bot. Its Common Application Form platform, which enables students to apply to multiple colleges with a single click, is the largest of its kind in India. For Study Abroad students, CollegeDekho offers a full range of services from Profile Building, Test Preparation, to Application Assistance, University Selection and Visa Assistance.
CollegeDekho has recently launched innovative 0% EMI based education financing and insurance products to enable more and more students to get access to an education of their choice. The platform helps colleges by making their admissions more efficient and predictable. The company plans to build services to help students with higher education coaching as well as student accommodation services.
In his comments about closing of Series B funding, Mr. Ruchir Arora, Founder & CEO, CollegeDekho, said, “We believe that our sound business model, innovative products, our commitment to excellence in service delivery, and growing Student base continue to help us win the trust of investors who have global exposure and experience in higher Ed tech. Their participation in our growth story is a testimony that we are delivering on our mission of transforming the higher education journey of students. Following the fruitful completion of Series B funding, we will be expanding our team, and platforms to serve a larger number of students and colleges. We will also increase our investment in products and technologies, while fueling our growth in our new verticals such as education loans, student accommodation and coaching for higher ed. Even as we double down on our efforts to increase our reach in the Indian market, we will also consider expanding our presence abroad.”
In their comments the existing investors placed on record their hopes of the promising growth prospects of CollegeDekho. Mr. Anton Farlenkov, Managing Director at Winter Capital Advisors, said: “We are happy to welcome ADQ and QIC along with ETS Strategic Capital as our co-investor in CollegeDekho. We are convinced that partners as solid as these joining the pool of investors further strengthens the prospects of success for CollegeDekho and proves the value of investment in EdTech, which is poised to reach US$10 billion in size in the next 5-10 years, from about US$ 2.5 billion today. We see our investment in CollegeDekho as promising and well aligned with our strategy to expand our investment portfolio via dynamic, high-quality assets.”
“We continue to identify and invest in companies both domestically and internationally whose missions and long-term vision align with that of ETS,” said Ralph Taylor-Smith, Managing Director of ETS Strategic Capital.
“We are pleased to see continued investment in College Dekho that furthers our shared goals of advancing access and equity in education for all learners around the globe” concluded Ralph.
Mr. Mohamed Mansour, Chairman of Man Capital, commented: “We are glad to have partnered with CollegeDekho’s founders since day one and delighted to have been joined by Winter Capital and ETS Strategic Capital along with ADQ and QIC as co-investors. We continue to believe and support the company’s vision. CollegeDekho is at the forefront of a rapidly expanding and growing Ed-Tech market in India. In addition to the exponential growth in college admission and wider India Ed-Tech market, we are also seeing a rise in integrated solutions for college students across the globe. We believe that CollegeDekho is very well positioned to expand its services and reach to become a leading global player over the coming years.”
The higher education market accounts for over 50% of the Indian education market. At US$ 135 billion in FY20 its larger than the K-12 market in value terms. With India’s higher education Gross Enrollment Ratio targeted to grow to 50% in the next ten years along with the initiatives led by NEP, the higher education market is expected to grow at a fast pace over the coming years.