A Noida-based startup that helps teachers and producers administer, manage, and sell courses to students has raised $70M in a fresh financing round, at a time when many edtech firms in India are aiming to reduce their reliance on teachers. With this Classplus, the company, is now worth $570M.
Classplus’ Series D investment was co-led by Alpha Wave Global and Tiger Global. Chimera Ventures and RTP Global, both located in Abu Dhabi, also participated in the fundraise. This funding comes eight months after the startup’s $65M Series C fundraising. According to a release, the fresh investment has more than doubled the startup’s valuation.
The four-year-old company is now one of the most valuable Indian edtech companies outside of the unicorn club. A unicorn is a private corporation with a market capitalisation of one billion dollars or more.
In 2020, Classplus had announced former Indian cricket captain and current BCCI President Sourav Ganguly as its brand ambassador.
The new funding will be used to expand the company’s reach into smaller Indian cities and villages, as well as expand its product offerings to better meet the demands of teachers and creators. Singapore, Vietnam, and Malaysia are among the foreign markets where Classplus is expanding.
In India, there are millions of instructors who teach children in small villages and cities. They are among the most popular people to learn from in their own communities. Their offline coaching is still going strong.
However, in the past, these teachers have struggled to reach pupils who live just a few miles away. With the advent of smartphones and low-cost mobile connectivity, some teachers have begun to experiment with a range of tools to record, stream, and monetize their classes, ranging from a spreadsheet processor to YouTube, Zoom, Surveymonkey, and Instamojo. But the experience of using so many tools is befuddling and inconvenient.
“We provide a single platform for these teachers and small institutions to stream, distribute, sell, and manage their classes online,” said Mukul Rustagi, co-founder and CEO of Classplus.
“Educators were able to use the platform to become brands, conduct commerce, and earn more money in 2019.” He explained that they were able to reach more pupils than ever before without jeopardising their offline companies.
Educators on the site also receive immediate feedback from their students, according to the startup, which constructed and customised the tools in-house. They have access to data that reveals how many students showed up for their classes and how well they did.
Amusingly, the app also allows them to create teasers for their classes. “We’ve ‘Indianized’ the platform to meet local requirements. These professors’ classes have their own teasers, just like previews in movies and shows.”
Bhaswat Agarwal and Mukul Rustagi created Classplus in 2018. It’s a mobile-first software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that helps educators and content creators establish an online presence, digitise offline tuition centres, and sell courses online. It covers academic and non-academic subjects such as fitness and lifestyle, personal finance, language training, and more.
Classplus has accumulated over 100,000 instructors and innovators from over 3,000 towns and cities across India, with Blume Ventures and GSV Ventures among its early sponsors. More than three-quarters of the project’s founders live outside of India’s major cities. Within six months of implementing the Classplus platform, these customers are able to raise their profitability by two to three times, according to the startup.
Navroz D. Udwadia, co-founder of Alpha Wave Global, said, “Over the last few years, Classplus has established itself as a market leader and produced a highly differentiated and advanced technical solution, while creating a powerful management team” (formerly known as Falcon Edge Capital).
“We admire how the company is able to successfully serve to the enormous offline market of educators in categories like K-12, test prep, and so on.” As a result of employing Classplus, we’ve seen a considerable increase in end tutor economics, resulting in industry-leading monetization and retention trends. As a result, it is an honour for us to increase our investment in Classplus in this round.”