List of Venture Capital Firms in Asia Investing in Education


List of Venture Capital Firms in Asia Investing in Education

Education being the most important and inevitable part of the society makes it ‘the sector to invest in’.

More and more VCs are interested to invest in educational startups, be it schools, universities, higher education or the raging edtech sector, the growth is vast just like the outcomes will be.

Keeping in mind the need for edupreneurs to know the right partners, I have compiled a list of venture capital firms in Asia that are investing in education.

1) Helion Venture Partners

It is a stage independent, India-focused venture fund, investing in high growth technology powered businesses and consumer services. It is a $605 million VC firm based in India. Their portfolio includes Simplilearn and Toppr. The firm pumped $10 million into the online test preparation platform, Toppr.

2) LIGHTBOX

It is a $1oo million VC team based in Mumbai.  The venture capital firm is helping in building Indian tech companies. They have invested in early startups like Embibe, one of the most popular EdTech Company.

3) Learn Capital

Popular platforms like Edmodo, Udemy, Classdojo, and BloomBoard are highlighted on the firm’s portfolio. This VC firm is focused on funding entrepreneurs who aims to change the education sector with their ideas of using technology in the field of education.

4) SEQUOIA Capital

It is a startup building founders & helping entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into industries. They have 8 offices across India, China and Israel.  Education investments include DuckDuckMoose, Inkling, and MindSnacks.

5) Kalaari Capital

Based in Bangalore, it is a $160 million venture capital fund investing in early stage technology oriented companies in India. The firm has invested in EdTech companies like Simplilearn and Embibe.

6) 500 Startups

It is an early stage seed funding company. The company has already invested in more than 800 startups. Education investment includes Kidblog, Chalkable, MindSnacks, Magoosh, Motion Math, Storypanda, and Timbuktu.

7) NEA

New Enterprise Association is a global venture capitalist firm helping build transformational business. With offices across China and India, the company is helping to transform the education sector.

Education investments include Coursera, Desire2Learn, Edmodo, and EverFi.

8) Accel Partners

It is a global venture capital firm with offices located in China, Bangalore and India within Asia. Their focus is to make multi stage investments in Internet Technology Company. Their investments in education sector are Ace Creative Learning.

Founded in 1983, Accel Partners have a long history of excellence and innovation in the venture capital business and is keen to partner with outstanding entrepreneurs and management teams to build world-class companies.

9) Inventus Capital Partners

Inventus Capital Partners is a venture firm investing in technology-powered companies participating in the emerging Indian economy since 1993. They have invested in more than 90 companies founded by Indians or Indo-Americans from operations in Silicon Valley or India. Their investments start with initial round of $1M to $2M and are willing to invest up to $5M as business grow.

Their portfolio includes education companies like eDreams Software Intelligent and Avaz.

10) IDG Ventures

IDG Ventures is a global network of venture capital funds with approximately $3.6 billion under management and a portfolio of over 220 companies built in over the last 15 years. The IDG Ventures network is comprised of five independent partnerships managing funds in North America and Asia including India, china, Korea, and Vietnam.

Their investments in education sector includes iProf, Vinabook, Yuantiku, Liulishuo and more.

11) Aavishkaar

Aavishkaar started in the year 2001 with a vision to invest in entrepreneurs building sustainable enterprises. Aavishkaar's initial focus was India and now is taking its learnings to countries in South and South East Asia. 
Their mission is to evolve an approach to investing that nurture entrepreneurs in building enterprises that can generate commercial returns while serving humanity sustainably. Education investments in their portfolio are Butterfly Fields, Little Laureates and The Karadi Path.

12) Jungle Ventures

Jungle is a Singapore based venture firm that invests and helps build category leaders from Asia. Jungle is reinventing how venture capital is done in Asia with its operations as a service model. Jungle invests across all early stages of startups and has invested in India Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and other hotbeds of entrepreneurial activity in Asia. One of the Educational companies in their portfolio is well known ‘Edrolo’.

13) Qualcomm Ventures

Qualcomm Ventures was formed and began funding in 2000 with a $500 million fund commitment to make strategic investment in early stage high tech ventures. Since then, QCV has funded numerous companies including $60 million fund in Korea, $30 million in japan and $100 million in China. Education companies in their portfolio are EduPath, Alo7, Cambridge Wowo and more!

14) SAIF Partners

SAIF Partners is a leading Asian private equity firm.

It makes privately negotiated equity investments across several growth sectors and education is one of them. The main focus for efforts lies primarily on China, India, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Their team of professionals is located in Hong Kong, China (Beijing & Shanghai,) and India (Hyderabad, New Delhi and Mumbai). Education companies in their portfolio are ATA, Eduask, Global Education, iBABEL, and One Class.

15) Matrix Partners

Matrix partners backs passionate entrepreneurs who have the vision and unstoppable drive to make a difference in the world. Within Asia, They operate in India and china.

Matrix partners In India:

They are committed to build long-term relationships with outstanding entrepreneurs and help them build significant industries. The firm consistently ranks in the top five venture firms in terms of return to investors.

Education companies invested are FIIT Jee and The Tree House.

Matrix partners in China-

In China, they invest in entrepreneurs and companies providing expertise and delivering value through local knowledge of china combined with global resources and reach.

Education companies invested are FENBI and a lot more!

Related Read: EdTech Investments in Asia in First Two Quarters of 2016

16) Unitus Seed Fund

Unitus Seed Fund is the leading seed venture fund-supporting startups innovating for the masses in India. Unitus is backed by multiple leadership investors including Bill Gates. Unitus invests in multiple sectors including education. The firm is based in Bangalore. Education companies that have been funded by Unitus include Cue Learn, Curiositi, Hippocampus Learning Center, iSTAR & a lot more!

17) SeedFund

SeedFund is India’s leading early-stage venture capital fund, with operations in Bombay, Bangalore and New Delhi. This venture capital fund recognized the need for an early stage investment ecosystem in India and hence, focuses on investing in Indian startups.

Investee companies dealing in education include, EduSports, ThinkLabs, Uhuroo

The firm seeks to invest between INR 1 Cr. & INR 25 Cr. in each portfolio company.

18) LGT Venture

LGT Venture Philanthropy's mission is to improve the quality of life of less advantaged people. To attain this mission they support organizations with positive social or environmental impact through financing. Education sector interests them the most.

In India, they have made an investment in Aangan Trust and Educate Girls.

19) Intel Capital

Intel capital is the corporate venture arm of Intel. It invests in companies in the growth stage and above. Its director in Singapore manages investments in Southeast Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. Their portfolio includes numerous educational companies; some of them are Kaltura, Schoology, TRANSMENSION and CSDN.

20) IMJ Investment Partners Pvt. Ltd.

IMJ Investment Partners is a Singapore based VC focused on investing in startups in Southeast Asia and Japan. It provides direct operational support and connections for startups to achieve success.

Taamkaru is one of the companies in their educational portfolio.

21) SBI Ven Capital

SBI Ven Capital is Asia focused venture capital. They invest in promising companies in the mid-market sector in Asia, primarily in China, India, Vietnam, Taiwan and Singapore.

The firm is committed to create exceptional value for their investors by building successful and truly pan Asian companies, through leveraging their strategic resources and intellectual capital.

They have invested in LIQVID among the education sector.

22) FRESCO CAPITAL

It’s a Singapore based VC firm. The company is involved in enterprise, education, infrastructure, and healthcare. They support ecosystem building with a focus on Asia. The portfolio for Education Company includes Launch Pilots & Gowell.

23) Vertex Venture Holdings

Vertex Venture Holdings Ltd. is an owned subsidiary of Tmasek Holdings, investing in emerging companies and leading venture funds throughout greater Asia. They have achieved substantial returns for their investors, while helping over 150 entrepreneurial companies. The portfolio consistS of educational companies like Wenba Holdings Ltd, Beifeng and Baby Care.

24) Red Dot Ventures

A seed stage venture capital firm focused on Singapore based high tech startups. Since incorporation, the team has adopted an aggressive investment strategy averaging 1 investment per month. Currently, its investment portfolio exceeds 20 startups.

Taamkru is the educational company they have invested in.

25) Kaizen

Kaizen Private Equity is India’s first private equity fund focused on India’s $86 billion education sector. Kaizen invests in promising companies with a keen focus on adding significant value post investment. These companies are leaders in the core, parallel and ancillary segments of Education. The Kaizen team consists of entrepreneurial professionals who bring a combination of investment experience, domain knowledge and operations expertise across sectors including the Education sector with a passion for building companies that promote modern learning methodologies designed to create tomorrow’s leaders.

26) Inspire Ventures

It is a newly established US$25 million partner funded venture company with investment teams in Thailand and Vietnam. The group invests in early stage and high growth businesses that are scaling proven in the Southeast Asian market. Their portfolio includes

ILA: Education For Life.

27) Arowana Capital

It is an early stage venture capital based in Brisbane, Australia. Believing that, the education system has become obsolete and no longer meets the needs of present and future generations the firm is keen to invest in education sector. Till now they have invested in FX2School& Early Bird to College under education sector.

28) Nexus Venture Partners

This venture capital firm invests in early stage and growth stage startups across sectors in India. they invest between $0.5M & $10M in early growth stage companies. Also makes investment in their seed program up to $0.5M.

Educational investment includes Function Space: social learning network for STEM.

29)   ZODIUS Capital

It builds exceptional market defining businesses in new and high growth areas where an exciting new market is emerging. The firm develops one company every six months and works intensively with its portfolio.

Investment in education is made in ENKL Professional Holdings’ TSM.

30) Warburg Pincus LLC

It is a leading global private equity firm focused on growth investing. The firm has more than $37B in assets under management. The firm’s active portfolio of more than 120 companies is highly diversified bt stage, sector and geography.

Educational investments made: Startford School  & Bridgepoint Education.

31) Ascent Capital

It is a leading India focused independent pvt. Equity firm. It is one of the most experienced team on ground. Over the past 15 years they have helped over 55 entrepreneurial teams build leading business across diverse sectors.

Educational investments made: iNurture

32) CyberAgent Ventures

CyberAgent Venture is a venture capital firm headquartered in Tokyo. It has a presence in South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. It invests in startups from Asia.

Educational investments made: Tutor ABC & more!

33) Venture East

It is a pioneering Indian VC fund manager with close to $300 million under management, with a rich history of investing in innovative businesses across multiple sectors, and multiple stages of a business - from seed and early to growth stages.

Education investments made: Orion edutech

34) Blume Ventures

Blume is an angel & seed venture fund that backs startups with both funding as well as active mentoring and support.

Investment in education: Skoolshop & Sparsha Learning.

35) Kae Capital

It is the destination for early stage companies for growth. This Mumbai based VC firm believes that “entrepreneurs can shape the future of the world. They want to partner with passionate and energetic entrepreneurs who have the drive to change the future. Technology excites them and they look for people who are ready to integrate technology as a means to disrupt sectors such as mobile, healthcare, education and so on. ”

Educational investments made: mapmytalent & edukart.

36) DT Capital Partners

DT Capital Partners provides growth capital to early and expansion stage companies in china. They invest in dynamic businesses that have growth potential, strong management teams and demonstrated revenue models in both technology based as well as traditional industries.

Educational investments made are: China Vocational Training & FasTracKids international.

37) Lightspeed Venture Partners

Lightspeed Venture Partners is a venture capital firm that is engaged in the consumer, enterprise, technology, and cleantech markets. They invest in countries such as India, china, Israel, and Europe.

Educational investments made: Tutor Vista

38) Gaja Capital

Gaja is a mid-market focused private equity firm. It seeks to partner with entrepreneurs and professionals to build the future champions of India's domestic economy. Founded in 2004 by indigenous professionals with extensive operating and investing experience.

Educational investments: Educomp, Euro Kids & The Millennium School.

39) Gobi Partners

It is an early stage venture capital firm focusing on IT and digital media investments in china. They define digital media as a new form of communication emerging from the convergence in telecommunications, media, & technology. They invest in companies that are pushing the integration of technology.

Educational investments: 8D world, Jianshu & Pindu.

40) Ladderup

Ladderup Group was found in 1993, provides one-stop financial advisory and fund raising solutions. Founded by a group of Chartered Accountants and led by Sunil Goyal, a visionary entrepreneur, Ladderup Group is today recognized for its depth of expertise, innovative solutions and thorough understanding of Indian markets.

Educational investments: Speakwell English academy

41) Mobile Internet Capital

MIC was founded in November 1999. It keeps up on the latest development of mobile Internet technologies and services at a high level and continues to be a venture capital with both technical expertise and execution capability.

Educational investments are Street Academy, FLENS, & WEIC.

42) New Silk Route Growth Capital

It is a unique Asia focused investment platform. It invests in emerging economies across Asia and the Middle East in rapidly growing and transforming sectors. Educational investments: Beacon House School System, Varsity Education Management.

43) Qiming Venture Partners

Founded in 2006, this china based VC firm is a leading investment firm and currently manages 4 funds with over $1.2 billion in assets. It has invested in more than 70 companies. They are one of the investor of the well known EdTech platform, TutorABC .

They invest in young, fast growing companies across china in the media and internet, IT, consumer & retail, healthcare, clean technology and education sector.

Check their portfolio to know more about their investments.

44) Red Point

Founded in 1999, this VC firm has helped entrepreneurs build innovative businesses that defy convention, shape the future and changes the world. It currently has over $2.5 billion under management.

The educational investments include, Open English.

45) University Ventures

Last but not the least, university ventures is the only investment firm focused exclusively on the global higher education sector. It pursues the strategy of “innovation from within”.

UV’s areas of interest within the global higher education market include higher education and training for healthcare professionals, STEM programs, technology-based services, transnational higher education, integrating content and brands from outside traditional higher education with curricula and programs from leading colleges and universities, and assisting colleges and universities in improving content, distribution and delivery for traditional higher education programs.

Check their portfolio to know about the investments made by them.

46) Bertelsmann India Investments

(BII) is the strategic investment arm of Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA in India. We focus on investing in pioneering companies in the digital, education, media and services sectors, which are developing new technologies, business models and visions of the future. We focus on early stage, as well as growth stage investments.

The educational investments include WizIQ, Inurture, Kaizen.

47) Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network looks to new methods to improve the educational ecosystems in underserved communities. They support entrepreneurial models that bring high-quality, affordable schooling, pre-primary education, and vocational training to areas where such education and employment opportunities are scarce. They also invest in the latest teaching and learning technology and pedagogical innovations that have the potential to scale quality across the world.

Portfolio includes: Code.org, Tinkergarten, SPARK Schools, Akshara Foundation, LearnZillion

48) Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF)

PALF makes equity investments in for-profit companies to meet the demand for affordable education across the developing world.

Portfolio includes: Experifun, Zaya Learning, Avanti

49) Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF)

MSDF invests in in companies that have the capacity to radically move the needle on social progress is at the core of our approach to mission-related impact investing. They seek to create lasting social change that drives progress not just for individuals, but across society. Their efforts are focused in education, family economic stability and health.

Portfolio includes: Oliveboard, ConveGenius, Avanti Learning

Are you an edupreneur looking for right partners in form of VCs firms? Hope this article helped you to widen your options to choose from.

About the Author
Author: Priyanka Gupta
Priyanka is a blogger by profession and has an increasing interest to write about the edtech space. While writing she keeps in mind the educators to come up with right resources and ideas which might be relevant for them in relation to effective use of technology in their profession and institutions/classrooms.
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