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Hybrid higher education services provider iNurture raises $5M from Bertelsmann

VCCircle_iNurtureBangalore-based iNurture Education Solutions Pvt Ltd, which provides higher education services in the online as well as offline formats, has raised about $5 million (about Rs 30 crore) in fresh funding, led by Bertelsmann India Investments (BII), the strategic investment arm of international media and services group Bertelsmann.

iNurture had previously raised two round of investments from GVFL (in 2009) and Ascent Capital (in 2012).

Founded in 2004, iNurture serves as a knowledge and technology partner with universities and colleges across India to deliver industry-relevant curricula in the fields of mobile apps, data analytics and information security. It was started as a provider of animation courses to colleges and universities, and today it offers 25 courses in IT, mobile applications, creative industries (advertising, branding, media, entertainment and internet), financial services, and animation & special effects.

"After the top 25-30 universities in the country, the quality of institutions drops dramatically, and the percentage of the ready-to-employ graduates is dismally low. iNurture is focused on bridging this gap by enabling students gain access to industry relevant courses at universities, and help boost students' chances of securing a job upon graduation," said Ashwin Ajila, founder & CEO of iNurture.

Bertelsmann is an international media company whose core divisions encompass television (RTL Group), book publishing (Penguin Random House), magazine publishing (Gruner + Jahr), services (Arvato) and printing (Be Printers) in some 50 countries. In the past few months, Bertelsmann has been expanding its strategic growth business of education internationally, with the aim of establishing it as a third mainstay of business alongside media and services.

iNurtureEarly this month, Bertelsmann bought US-based e-learning provider Relias Learning.

iNurture is the fund's third bet in the Indian education space. It had previously invested in online education platform Wiziq.com and online education services provider Udacity.

"At Bertelsmann, we have global education products and services which can be leveraged to launch exciting projects in India, and thus bring global education to the country," said Pankaj Makkar, managing director of BII.

BII's other direct investments in India include Pepperfry.com, Indiaproperty.com, and Authorgen Technologies.

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