Lernern, India's leading upskilling platform for blue-collar professionals, has raised $1 million in a seed funding round from a clutch of investors including OOB Ventures Pte. Ltd, a Singapore-based company run by Ruchi Sihare.
Ex-investment banker Kunal Solanki and Swiss impact investor elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization, among others, also participated in the round, according to a statement.
Founded in 2020 by Abhinav Madan and Aditya Saikia, Lernern provides apprenticeship, upskilling, and further education opportunities to blue-collar workers. It is the social EdTech arm of Gram Tarang Technical Vocational Education and Training Pvt Ltd., a high-performance manpower staffing services and apprenticeships provider working towards its mission of making technology-enabled learning, further education, and skills available for all, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid.
Lernern aims to take this unique model to the blended learning landscape, allowing eager learners from anywhere in the country to access education and training, specific to their job of choice. The company has initiated a work-integrated skill training and apprenticeship program to enable further education for blue-collar workers by integrating academia and vocational education with industry.
Speaking about the capital raised, Abhinav Madan, Co-founder & CEO of Lernern, said,
"Having co-founded and led one of India’s leading skill development companies, Gram Tarang, for over 12 years, we have skilled over 360,000 youth in brick-and-mortar mode in rural and peri-urban areas and placed thousands into first-time blue-collar jobs in the industrial belts of Tirupur, Coimbatore, Chennai, PuneChakan-Ranjangaon, Gujarat, Hyderabad, Greater Noida, Manesar, Neemrana, Baddi, etc.
This grassroot level experience has helped us deeply understand youth aspirations and their desire to learn and grow. I am delighted to have found an incredible group of individual and institutional seed investors, who believe in our capabilities, share our vision, and most importantly, are equally passionate about the social change that Lernern aims to bring by enabling growth for our youth."
The company plans to use the funds to strengthen its technology platform to meet the specific requirements of blue-collar workers in the workplace and provide for synchronous and asynchronous learning, develop content and academic partners across disciplines, and for its learn and earn business model.
Lernern has also partnered with Prasad Ram, the ex-CTO of Google India and the founder, creator, and CEO of an open and collaborative online community called Gooru, to help navigate the learner’s journey.