Silicon Valley-based technology education startup EdCast plans to get into tie-ups with as many as 500 educational institutions and invest up to $50 million (Rs 325 crore) in India in 2016. The company creates knowledge cloud platforms that enable educators and institutions to deliver their content worldwide.
Indian-American serial entrepreneur Karl Mehta, who's the founder and CEO of EdCast, believes that around $250 million (Rs 1625 crore) could be invested in education based technology in India this year. This is the new sector on the rise, Mehta said.
“Edcast would be spending anywhere between $10-50 million in investments in India. We would spend even more as 4G services become readily available, ” he said.
At present, more than 40 universities, including Columbia University, Michigan State, Trinity College Dublin are using the startup’s Knowledge Cloud, which was built using OpenEdX.
Mehta, who has been part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Startup India initiative and gave a number of recommendations, some of which were incorporated in the final Startup India Policy, said that he planned to train a million people in entrepreneurship in the next three years.
''We have to build digital content and curriculum, as unfortunately in India we do not have much educational content available online. Edcast is bringing that content from all over the world,'' Mehta said.
''Part of providing an enabling ecosystem for startups is to provide education. If entrepreneurs are not trained in entrepreneurship, the failure rate is going to be very high. So I am bringing the best entrepreneurship education from Silicon Valley as part of helping the Startup India initiative.''
As far as expansion plans are concerned, the company wants to scale up its India operations and get into tie-ups with as many as 500 educational institutions in India. “We will include not only IITs and IIMs but also other colleges and universities in the program. We plan to create a large scale peer to peer social knowledge network. I want to train 500 million people in all kinds of different skills in India,” he said.
EdCast, which already has a development centre in Mumbai, will open one in Bengaluru and increase the headcount to 500 from double digit now, . It's expected to sign a couple of MoUs with the government.
EdCast and Mehta both plan to acquire a number of companies in 2016 in India. “It would be in areas such as education, skilling, learning and digital media segment,” he said.
Personally Mehta will like to invest in clean-tech, edu-tech and electronic payment funds.