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Exclusive: Ed-tech startup Toppr raising fresh capital

Exclusive: Ed-tech startup Toppr raising fresh capital
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Toppr Technologies Pvt. Ltd, a test preparation platform for students, is raising close to $20 million (Rs 147 crore) as part of a fresh funding round, two persons in the know told TechCircle.

Mumbai-based startup Toppr will raise this sum from existing backers SAIF Partners, Helion Venture Partners, Eight Roads Ventures and Hong Kong-based Axis Capital Partners, new investor Kaizen Management Advisors Pvt. Ltd and unidentified individuals, one of the two persons mentioned above said.

The funding, which is likely to be a Series C round, is expected to be raised in tranches, and Toppr is likely to be valued between $110 and $115 million (Rs 808.76 and Rs 845 crore) due to this round, the second person mentioned above said, adding that the company has already started receiving the sum.

E-mail queries to Toppr, SAIF, Helion, Eight Roads, Kaizen and Axis Capital did not get a response till the time of publishing this report.

In December last year, Toppr, had raised Rs 45 crore (around $7 million) as part of an extended Series B round from SAIF, Helion and Eight Road.

In February this year, Toppr’s valuation stood at $60 million because it raised an undisclosed sum from Axis Capital.

Toppr’s last-known funding round was in May this year, when the firm raised Rs 15.5 crore ($2.3 million) in venture debt from Alteria Capital.

Toppr

The ed-tech startup was founded in 2013 by IIT-Bombay graduates Zishaan Hayath and Hemanth Goteti. Before setting up Toppr, Hayath founded a phone-commerce startup Chaupaati Bazaar, while Goteti was head of engineering at e-commerce platform Futurebazaar.com and held stints at Chaupaati Bazaar, Qlip Media, Synechron and Ubiquity Inc.

Hayath is also an angel investor and has backed firms such as Housing.com and Ola. In September 2010, Chaupaati Bazaar was acquired by Future Group. Hayath also operated an angel investment group called Powai Lake Ventures.

Toppr is a test preparation platform for students, where users are charged fees that range from Rs 250 per month to Rs 6,900 for three years.

In April 2015, Toppr acquired EasyPrep, an online entrance exam preparation platform, for an undisclosed amount.

For the financial year 2016-17, Toppr's operational revenue more than doubled to Rs 6.5 crore from Rs 3 crore for the previous year. Gross expenses rose to Rs 48.3 crore from Rs 26.5 crore as staff costs doubled to Rs 24.5 crore during the period. Other expenses, which include marketing costs and other administrative overheads, climbed to Rs 22.4 crore from Rs 13.4 crore during the period. Net losses widened to Rs 42 crore from Rs 23.4 crore during the period.

Recent deals in ed-tech

The ed-tech sector has seen a lot of funding activity.

Last month, reports said that Bengaluru-based Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd, which operates digital ed-tech venture Byju’s, had raised $100 million from General Atlantic at a $2 billion valuation.

In the same month, Jaipur-based experiential learning startup SRJNA raised an undisclosed amount from social-impact investor Gray Matters Capital’s edLABS initiative, angel network Keiretsu Forum and SucSEED Venture Partners.

In August, California and Bengaluru-based ed-tech startup Quizizz Inc., which specialises in gamified learning for students, raised $3 million (Rs 20.6 crore) in a round led by Nexus Venture Partners.

In the same month, Delhi-based Notesgen Technologies Pvt. Ltd, which runs an online marketplace for study material, raised Rs 1.25 crore ($178,550) in a pre-Series A round.

In June, online learning platform Unacademy raised $21 million (Rs 144 crore) from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Nexus Venture Partners and SAIF Partners.

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