Avanti Learning Centres, a New Delhi-based test preparation startup company, has raised $1.5 million (approximately Rs 9.6 crore) in a Series-A round of funding led by Michael and Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF), with the participation from existing investor Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF).
The company proposes to utilise the funding to increase its presence in Tier-II and III towns across the country, Avanti Learning said in a press release.
According to the company, Ted Dintersmith and Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation joined PALF and MSD as second round co-investors in Avanti. Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Founded in March 2010, it operated eight learning centres in 2014 and four school-based centres in Delhi, Mumbai, Kanpur and Bengaluru. It expects to grow more than four-fold this year with expansion into Patna, Chhapra (Bihar), Bhopal, Raghogarh (MP) and Pune.
“MSDF has had the opportunity to work with several key stakeholders in the government and private sector over the past years. Their guidance along with Pearson’s deep expertise in curricular design and delivery will be important factors in helping us achieve our goal of reaching 100,000 students over the next five years,” said Krishna Ramkumar, co-founder and chief executive officer of Avanti Learning Centres.
“More than 95 percent of all students who go to top engineering schools in India come from the top two or three towns in their state. Access to quality science education is a huge challenge and we believe that the only way to solve this is through a combination of high-quality instructional design and great classroom technology. This funding round will allow us to push the boundaries along both these axes,” said Akshay Saxena, co-founder and president of Avanti Learning.