This round was led by INSEAD Angels, IIT Kanpur Angels, Nikhil Vora and Swati Mehra from Sixth Sense Ventures, Saahil Bhatia from Temasek Holdings India Pvt. Ltd, and Sitanshu Shah from Bain & Company.
Gurinder Ratra, Gautam Khanna from Hinduja Hospitals, Ameya Chandavarkar, from FDC, Finovate Capital’s Akshat Birla, Sheetal Birla from Falkonry, Deepa Bhatia from YouGov and existing investor Venture Catalysts, also participated in the round.
Founded in 2015 by Karanvir Singh, Utkarsh Bagri, Vikram Shekhawat and Deepak Choudhary, Pariksha is a vernacular test preparation company. It operates in 11 states, six languages and has 65,000 subscribers.
The startup said that 75 million aspirants in India spend $2.3 billion on preparing for vernacular state government job exams every year.
"We are solving the problem of accessibility for 90% of these 75 million aspirants who do not have access to good test preparation options. Pariksha...helps students from Bharat prepare for state government job exams in the language of their choice through VOD and live streaming classes," Karanvir Singh said.
"This investment will help us in strengthening our product offerings and expanding our reach across the country," Singh added.
"This is the first investment of INSEAD Mumbai Angels. The group's thesis is to invest in exceptional founders and high growth startups, preferably founded or backed by INSEAD alumni, but we are very impressed with the Pariksha founders’ vision, market know-how, execution capabilities and the size of the opportunity," said Akshat Birla from INSEAD Mumbai Angels.
"Bharat is the next growth story and Pariksha is very well positioned to serve millions of mobile first vernacular Internet users of Bharat," said Saahil Bhatia, Director, Temasek Holdings Advisors India.
Nikhil Vora, CEO, and Swati Mehra, Partner, at Sixth Sense Ventures added, "We believe the opportunity for online education in Bharat is massive, and businesses which are able to establish trust and engagement in local markets will see an early curve of monetization. As in many sectors, there will be lag between awareness, adoption and monetization. However, we believe Pariksha - with their solid team, credible ecosystem tie-ups and focused on-ground execution – has strong potential to lead the vernacular online education space."