Mumbai-based School of Accelerated Learning (SOAL), India’s first hybrid learning venture, has raised $300,000 in its first funding round led by venture fund Astarc Ventures.
Others who participated in the round include tech and startup leaders Srinivas Kollipara, Founder, T-Hub, Ramki Gaddipatti, Founder and CTO, Zeta, and Krishnan Menon, Founder, BeeCash.
Founded in 2018 by Pratik Agarwal, Varsha Bhambhani and Raj Desai, SOAL aims to transform students into agile doers and disruptive thinkers. With the mission to enlighten each student and kindle in them a drive to embrace disruption in a rapidly evolving world, the startup builds learning spaces and tech platforms to nurture a superior tech education ecosystem and professionals in developing economies, starting with India.
SOAL brings together the best of online and offline worlds. The company’s product, Meta-Learning, is a hybrid learning method which merges online learning’s access with offline learning’s engagement. SOAL’s flagship program Product Engineering helps learners solve programming challenges while improving cognition, creativity, communication and collaboration skills, which are critical in the job market.
The company majorly addresses a two-fold problem – education and employability, and it claims that its graduates have recently started working with tech organizations like NowFloats, ClearTax, ShopClues, FactSet, ThoughtWorks, Schrocken, Paymatrix, Grene Robotics, etc.
Speaking about the company and its mission, SOAL Co-founder Pratik Agarwal said,
“With SOAL, we are not only impacting that one individual but an entire bunch of people around them. Raising someone’s aspiration trickles down through generations and that is the impact that we, at SOAL, are looking at. We are here to build what a college of the 21st century needs to look like – dynamic, accessible, and fast. Our learners are picking up skills that will help them embrace and drive disruption. We are on our way to changing how we learn tech forever, and this is just the beginning.”
The lead investor, Astarc Ventures, strongly believes that the education market needs to be disrupted and that SOAL’s focus on career development of Indian youth through quality education is the much-needed answer. While the Mumbai-based venture fund has invested in an array of technology ventures such as Virgin Hyperloop One, Rapido and PharmEasy, this is its first foray into education technology.
Highlighting the demand and supply gap with respect to tech talent in the market, Salil Musale, Director of Astarc Ventures, said,
“We think there is an acute shortage of demand and supply with respect to tech talent in the market, and with the tech stacks evolving rapidly, an effective upskilling solution with the focus on the industry is the key to bridge the gap.”
Meanwhile, the company said that the funds will be used to launch a second campus in Mumbai by December and beef up operations with a bouquet of programs in creative-tech such as digital marketing, artificial intelligence, blockchain and design. The company also said that it plans to launch its tech-enabled learning spaces in metros as well as tier 2 cities in next two years.