Indian edtech Scaler raises funds to ‘scale’ internationally 

Scaler Academy edtech
Scaler Academy founders Anshuman Singh and Abhimanyu Saxena.

Bengaluru-based edtech startup Scaler Academy has raised $55 million funding in the Series B round led by a new investor Lightrock India and two existing investors, Sequoia Capital India and Tiger Global.

Launched in 2019, Scaler Academy will be starting its US operations very soon.

With this fresh round of funding, the total capital raised by the startup since January 2020 stands at $76.5 million with a valuation of $710 million.

The startup, which is focused on upskilling college students and tech professionals, will now use the funding to pursue its international expansion plans, launch new product offerings and business verticals, make strategic acquisitions, and grow its customer base in India and globally. 

The startup said that the entry of Lightrock India as a new strategic partner would 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.

Abhimanyu Saxena, Co-Founder, Scaler & InterviewBit, said that 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.

In India, the higher education ecosystem is fragmented and “deeply broken”, adding that the country has an acutely inequitable ecosystem where the top 15% of colleges drive millions to attempt an array of entrance examinations, whilst the bottom 85% have limited accountability.

As per estimates, the top 15% cater to those who can afford $11,000 or more, further restricting the country’s ability to build a robust talent pipeline for the future. “Therefore, higher education must shift from learning to skilling, from poor accountability to employability and from physical communities to digital tribes.”

The company believes that machine learning and data science technologies 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.

The startup claimed that it has over 380 alumni in Microsoft, Google, Uber, Amazon, Paypal, Adobe, VMWare, Intuit, Mcafee. It also claimed that about seven out of every ten unicorns in India now have a Scaler Academy alumni.

The startup has partnered for placements with tech majors like Microsoft, Google and Amazon.

The cumulative annual salary of Scaler graduates is more than $81 million as of today, Saxena said. “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,” he added.

“The team at Scaler Academy (& InterviewBit) are transforming higher education in India by democratising 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,” Divya Venkatavaraghavan, Principal Investor, Lightrock India, said in a statement.

Shailendra J. Singh, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore, said that the most distinctive part of Scaler’s strategy is that they are focused on extremely high-quality computer science education, delivered with their unique approach that makes their programs practical and useful in the work environment.

“This is resulting in outstanding student NPS and exceptional job placements for Scaler students. We couldn’t be more excited to journey together with them to impact the lives of so many high potential computer programmers,” Singh added.

Related article: India’s edtech startup Byju’s acquires Aakash for nearly $1 billion

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