Bengaluru-based Scaler Academy, an online platform that helps students and tech professionals upgrade their skills, today announced the closure of its Series B round after raising $55 million at a valuation of $710 million, making it a soonicorn startup.
New investor Lightrock India and existing investors -- Sequoia Capital India and Tiger Global led the funding round. With this, the total capital raised by Scaler Academy since January 2020 stands at $76.5 million.
"We decided to go with Lightrock India and our existing investors (Sequoia Capital India & Tiger Global), who share our vision of what we are trying to do at Scaler," Abhimanyu Saxena, Co-Founder, Scaler & InterviewBit said.
Scaler Academy says the raised funds will help the company to aggressively pursue its international expansion plans, launch new product offerings/business verticals, make strategic acquisitions, invest in best-in-class talent, and grow its customer base in India and globally. So far, the edtech startup has made two acquisitions -- Coding Minutes and Coding Elements.
It also said the new investors will help accelerate the brand's ambition to disrupt India's formal higher education sector, comprising universities and colleges that are unable to meet the growing demand for the new kind of skilled workforce for the country's $200 billion IT sector.
"The failure of legacy institutions in India's higher education sector, particularly in the IT space, has opened up opportunities for avowed status-quo disruptors like Scaler to push a new kind of thinking that looks beyond cost arbitrage-based success," Abhimanyu said.
Launched in April 2019 by Anshuman Singh and Abhimanyu Saxena, Scaler Academy helps college students and tech professionals upgrade their skills. So far, more than 7,500 people have joined Scaler's educational programmes, it says.
The company also said, under InterviewBit, it has grown manifold during the pandemic, with revenue jumping 200% over the pre-Covid level and is operationally profitable.
"technologies like machine learning and data science will create a new kind of India powered by communication technologies like 5G that will have a far-reaching impact on the country's socio-economic status. We are creating the skilling ecosystem that will ensure that we succeed by creating a future-ready India," Abhimanyu adds. He believes higher education must shift from learning to skilling, from poor accountability to employability, and from physical communities to digital tribes.
Speaking on the investment, Divya Venkatavaraghavan, Principal Investor at Lightrock India, said, "The team at Scaler Academy (& InterviewBit) are transforming higher education in India by democratizing the privilege of working in technology for millions of Indians. They are building a learning community that is accountable for outcomes and designed for the future of work. We are privileged to partner with them on this exceptional journey as they help unlock the demographic dividend of India."
"We have over 380+ alumni in just these 9 companies alone - Microsoft, Google, Uber, Amazon, Paypal, Adobe, VMWare, Intuit, Mcafee. The cumulative annual salary of Scaler graduates is more than Rs 600 crore as of today. If you factor in our expenses on teaching and infra, Scaler enables the addition of more than $100 million into India's economy every year. Our next goal will be enabling the addition of a billion USD to India's GDP annually," added Saxena.