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Next Education to raise Rs 150-cr PE fund

Itishree Samal  |  Chennai/ Hyderabad 

Hyderabad-headquartered Next Education Private Limited, a technology-driven education enterprise, is planning to raise Rs 150-crore private equity (PE) fund this year.

“We run on an up front-capital model where we invest 20 per cent equity and 80 per cent debt. We require Rs 150 crore as growth capital. Currently, we are under discussion with some PE firms but nothing has been finalised yet. It may happen during the July-October period this year,” Beas Dev Ralhan, chief executive officer of Next Education, told Business Standard.

The company, which was started in 2007, has so far invested Rs 300 crore in research, content development and in rolling out its pan-India operations. It had raised the initial funding from Anurag Dikshit, co-founder of PartyGaming, and ranked among the 40 richest Indians according to Forbes Magazine.

Next Education offers innovative learning solutions for the K-12 segment across CBSE, ICSE, IGCSE and 23 other Indian state boards in eight languages. Its in-house developed products – TeachNext, LearnNext, NextStudio, NextLabs, and NextERP – cater to 7,000 schools across the country.

“We target to reach 10,000 schools over the next three years. Currently, more than 30,000 students use our LearnNext, and another 10,000 students are expected to be added this year,” he said.

The company has implemented TeachNext in over 4,000 classrooms across India.Currently, there are roughly 75,000 private schools in the country, and the number is growing at 30-40 per cent year-on-year.

“The adoption of digital curriculum has hugely taken off across private schools in the last three-four years. Being an end-to-end solutions provider, we are seeing a good market opportunity in this segment,” Ralhan said.

The company has grown 200 per cent over last year, and expects to grow at around 40 per cent in the coming years, according to him.

Next Education, in association with 500 technology and educational professionals, has created 10,000 learning modules that account for more than 1,000 hours of classroom teaching in the K12 segment.

“The next focus area is on how to provide talent management and how to transform hobbies into education and bring it to the learning,” he said, adding that Next Education had plans to tap more schools, bring new products and explore opportunities in CBSE schools in the African region.

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First Published: Mon, June 18 2012. 00:58 IST