New Delhi: School of Accelerated Learning (SOAL), India’s first hybrid learning venture, has closed its first round of funding of $300,000 with Astarc Ventures as the lead investor.
Others who participated in the round include tech and startup leaders Srinivas Kollipara, founder T-Hub, Ramki Gaddipatti, founder and CTO Zeta, and Krishnan Menon, founder BeeCash.
Founded by Pratik Agarwal, Raj Desai and Varsha Bhambhani, SOAL aims to nurture students into disruptive, tech-empowered creators and leaders who can enable rapid progress of the society.
The company is solving a two-fold problem - education and employability, and graduates from SOAL's programme have recently started working with tech organisations like ShopClues, ClearTax, FactSet, ThoughtWorks, NowFloats, and Schrocken.
The funds will be used to launch a second campus in Mumbai by December and beef up operations with a bouquet of programmes in creative-tech such as digital marketing, Artificial Intelligence, blockchain and design. In the next two years, SOAL aims to launch its tech-enabled learning spaces in metros as well as tier 2 cities.
According to co-founder Pratik Agarwal, “With SOAL, we are not only impacting that one individual but an entire bunch of people around them. Raising someone’s aspiration trickles down through generations and that is the impact that we, at SOAL, are looking at. We are here to build what a college of the 21st century needs to look like- dynamic, accessible, and fast. Our learners are picking up skills that will help them embrace and drive disruption. We are on our way to changing how we learn tech forever, and this is just the beginning!"
Astarc Ventures, a Mumbai based venture fund who was the lead investor in this round, has invested in an array of technology ventures such as Virgin Hyperloop One, Rapido and PharmEasy. This is their first foray into ed-tech.
Astarc strongly believes the education market needs to be disrupted and SOAL’s focus on career development of Indian youth through quality education is the much-needed answer. “We think there is an acute shortage of demand and supply with respect to tech talent in the market and with the tech stacks evolving rapidly, an effective upskilling solution with the focus on the industry is the key to bridge the gap," says Salil Musale, Director of Astarc Ventures.