Education technology firm Smart Institute has raised $1.5 million from a group of High Net-worth Individual (HNI) investors and family offices led by Mumbai-based growth catalyst ah! Ventures.
The company said in its press release that the latest fundraise is a part of the larger $30 million financing round it plans to raise over the next year. It further said that with this round, it aims to expand its presence in 30 cities across India within the next five years, with additional plans to invest in edtech through its application ask.CAREERS.
A part of The Shahani Group, which focuses on providing students with career enhancement skills through its various academic initiatives, Smart Institute primarily focuses on Indian edtech market. It aims to use the newly raised funds to amplify the services of its edtech platform ask.CAREERS to help students enhance their critical thinking, problem solving, and time management skills, while working closely with employers.
Speaking on the latest funding and its future plans, Akhil Shahani, Managing Director, The Shahani Group, said,
“In light of the increased demand for job-ready professionals with detailed industry knowledge, students today are looking towards smart classrooms, learning apps, on-the-go learning devices, and much more, to gain a competitive edge. The same has presented a huge opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs alike, culminating in our 30-city expansion plan. We expect to raise up to USD 15 million in the next 4-5 months, and reach a funding amount of USD 30 million by the end of 2020. This institutional funding into our company indicates increased confidence amongst investors of the scalability of our employability model that will lead to superior career outcomes for lakhs of students across our country.”
The company has appointed European Boutique Investment Bank, IEG Investment Banking Group, to assist with the funding round. It seeks to raise from local family offices, global institutional investors and global strategic players.
Mihir Kapoor, Managing Director, IEG India, also commented on the development saying,
“The global edtech space is expected to reach USD 341 billion by the year 2025. Employability as a skill set is a huge focus going forward, and through its tech-based platform, Smart Institute, the Shahani Group is well positioned to capture and optimize this market.”
Needless to mention, The Shahani Group is a well-known name in the education sector in India with multiple institutions under its umbrella. The group is committed to enhancing the careers of lakhs of students across the country via its various academic initiatives aimed at giving them employment in diverse sectors. With renowned brands like Thadomal Shahani Centre for Management, Thadomal Shahani Centre for Media & Communication, and Ask Talent Services, the group encompasses a new generation of institutions in areas of management, media, banking, real estate, digital marketing, and more. The group has been instrumental in forming over 24 iconic colleges in Mumbai, such as Thadomal Shahani Engineering College, HR College, KC College, and National College, among others. Currently operational in four cities, The Shahani Group also has an edtech division and job placement division. It also runs several CSR initiatives aimed at providing education and healthcare for the under-privileged.