Exclusive: JMR Infotech seed funds ed-tech startup LearnOn
Chennai based LearnOn Technology Solutions LLP, an ed-tech startup that operates a cloud-based learning platform for K-12 schools, has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from IT services company JMR Infotech India Pvt Ltd.
LearnOn will utilise the funds raised to expand operations and strengthen its technology/ sales teams, said Sameer Ahmad, co-founder and CEO of LearnOn.
Subsequently, LearnOn will function as JMR's education technology arm.
As part of the deal, Jayafar Moidu, CEO of JMR Infotech has been appointed as chairman of LearnOn's board of directors. This investment marks JMR Infotech's foray into the education vertical. The IT services firm will use its global presence to take LearnOn's flagship product C-Link to the international markets, especially Africa and Middle East.
"This is part of our strategic drive to actively engage in an external innovation ecosystem," Moidu said.
C-Link is a cloud-based learning platform that helps teachers personalise the learning experience for each student in a classroom without disrupting the existing pedagogy. While students can access their textbooks, through their tablets or laptops, parents get regular updates on their child's performance.
The company is currently piloting the product with Choice School in Kochi. It plans to reach out to more schools in India before entering the international market.
LearnOn is reaching out to publishing companies and content developers to make their content available on the C-Link platform.
"JMR Infotech's investment in LearnOn will fuel our efforts for continued innovation and creativity in the education technology space and give us significant scalability both in the domestic and international markets," said Ahmed.
LearnOn was founded by Sameer Ahmed and Sumesh Sadanandan in 2014. An MBA from The University of Western Ontario - Richard Ivey School of Business, Ahmed has previously worked with Prudential Assurance Company Singapore, AlRajhi Bank and Infosys. Sadanandan is a BTech in mechanical engineering from MG University, Kerala and worked with SunTec Business Solutions and Computer Sciences Corporation before co-founding LearnOn.
Bangalore-based JMR Infotech, founded by Moidu in 2007, offers banking, financial services and insurance software and software-related services.
The ed-tech segment encompasses businesses involved in e-learning, test preparation, skill training and support services. Investors have pumped in $94 million in 20 early-stage deals in this segment so far this financial year, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.
According to Dave Richards, managing partner at Unitus Seed Fund, ed-tech or gaming could create the next unicorn â€“ a company valued at $1 billion â€“ from India.
"Technology is the only way in which some education solutions can be delivered to the masses. So, entrepreneurs in this space should look for businesses that can scale up very rapidly, serve the masses and generate profits," he said.