Toppr raises funding as investors continue to loosen purse strings for edtech startups; eyes 4X growth

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Published: July 29, 2020 8:00 AM

Launched in 2013, Toppr has so far raised Rs 700 crore and currently competes with unicorn startup Byju’s, Unacademy, Embibe, Meritnation, and more.

Indian edtech market is likely to grow at over 20 per cent per annum to hit 2 billion-dollar size by 2021.

Edtech startups continue to attract investors’ money in the post-Covid world thanks to the increased adoption of digital learning during the lockdown. This time learning app Toppr, which focuses on students in class 5-12, has raised Rs 350 crore in Series D round of funding. The investment was led by Dubai-based investment firm Foundation Holdings while existing investor Kaizen Private Equity also participated in the round. Launched in 2013, Toppr has so far raised Rs 700 crore and currently competes with unicorn startup Byju’s, Unacademy, Embibe, Meritnation, and more.

“Apart from our main product, which is the school learning app, the money will also go towards our product for teaching coding to kids and our school operating system (OS) built for teachers and administrators. We last raised $35 million around July 2018 and with this round we are looking to grow business 4x,” Zishaan Hayath, Founder and CEO, Toppr told Financial Express Online.

Toppr School OS is an app for schools and teachers through which they can map curriculum, plan lessons and manage class timetables, automate attendance, assign homework, take tests, correct test papers, etc. during or after school hours to save time. “So far learning happened in schools and on online learning apps after school but now we will be able to unify it,” added Hayath. On the other hand, the coding product – Toppr Codr launched recently “is an opportunity of at least $50 million if let’s say the overall opportunity for us in digital learning is at least $200 million.”

Amid Covid, there are more than a dozen edtech startups including Byju’s, Vedantu, Camp K-12, Entri, Instasolv, Flinto, etc. that have raised funding as investors thronged such platforms that have registered strong growth during the pandemic. For Toppr too, which started discussions for the latest round of funding around a week before lockdown, the learning sessions on its app per month have grown over 2X from around 14-15 million before Covid to 32 million currently. The startup already has around 60,000 students on its learning platform and is aggressively seeking to on-board as much as 2.4 lakh students in just a few weeks ahead.

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“In web traffic, we have been ahead of a top K-12 player in the last three months. The macro situation is that Covid is going to give huge tailwinds to the edtech sector,” said Hayath hinting towards Byju’s that reportedly saw 150 per cent increase in the number of new students to more than 6 million in March.

Edtech segment is likely to be on a roll ahead as investors globally are expected to put $87 billion in the world market over the next 10 years, according to market intelligence firm HolonIQ. The India market is also believed to grow at over 20 per cent per annum to hit $2-billion size by 2021, as per management consulting firm Ken Research.

Toppr is also expected to boost its headcount across teams from the current 300 to 400 by the end of this year. “Toppr has emerged as the highest traffic destination for K-12 learning and hosts over 1 million sessions every day. Toppr’s community of 50,000+ educators from across the country has contributed to over 35 lakh learning pieces, including questions, solutions, concepts, games, and videos for the students,” said Aakash Sachdev, Managing Director, Foundation Holdings.

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