Venture Catalysts, India’s first integrated incubator, invests $250K – $1.5 Million in early stage startups that has potential to create enduring value for over a long period of time.
Venture Catalysts invested INR 4 crore in Pariksha in the current USD 1 million pre-series A investment round. Pariksha is an online vernacular competitive examination preparatory platform focused on enabling candidates optimize their preparations for various government examinations. With the Government exams conduction slowly transitioning online, Pariksha serves ‘Bharat’, the 13.6 cr annual Government job applicants, (7.5 cr of which apply to State Government jobs writing the exams in vernacular language) who do not have access to laptops or desktops at home or in school in order to be able to practice for a CBT (Computer based test).
Pariksha operates across 6 states in the country is founded by alumni of IIT Kanpur and Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune, has already acquired more than 1 million mobile first internet users with over 25,000 paid subscribers. VCats Investors currently participating in the round are Sunil Kumar Singhvi of South Handlooms, Jayant Mehrotra of Lodha Group, Nirav Panchmatia of Aum Financial Advisors, Aditya Khurana of The Little Company Day Care Solutions and many more.
Bolstering its portfolio in the Ed-tech segment further, Venture Catalysts has invested in Pariksha considering the huge potential of the Government job exam Test Preparation market valued at USD 4.2 billion annually. Pariksha offers a subscription based, affordable, vernacular online test preparation mobile application using which aspirants can learn, practice and prepare for State Government Job Exams anywhere, any time. It has also launched a physical prepaid subscription card (Safalta) to enable offline transaction in the rural cash economy (for people who are not comfortable making online transactions) available at retail outlets across the State.
Commenting on the investment, Dr. Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-Founder & President, Venture Catalysts said “The Indian academic scenario proposes a huge market for Ed-tech platforms, and Pariksha has already established itself as a strong player in this segment. Pariksha’s team has a clear vision and a massive target audience spanning not only tier-II, III cities and rural regions, but also a certain student demographic in urban centers. It is a one-stop preparatory platform for a vast number of examinations, and has an easy-to-engage interface that offers greater convenience to candidates. We are certain of a successful and long-standing association with Pariksha, and hope to facilitate them in every way possible during their growth journey!”
Elaborating on the prospects brought forth by this investment, Karanvir Singh, Co-Founder, Pariksha said “It feels great to be backed by Venture Catalysts, one of India’s biggest investment networks and a dedicated platform that offers the best kind of support to emerging start-ups across industries. Pariksha is the brainchild of four individuals who have closely observed the Indian academic landscape and wanted to play an active part in the digital transformation its going through currently. We developed Pariksha as an all-in-one empowerment platform, helping students to prepare for examinations in the most convenient and enriched manner. This investment will help us to strengthen our product offerings, bolster back-end operations and expand our reach all over India. We are also looking forward to benefit from the insights and experiences of the leading entrepreneurs, investors and experts in the VCats’ network.”
Previously, Venture Catalysts invested in PrimeOS, an Android-based laptop OS specifically designed for students and digital learning. During the last 12 months, Venture Catalysts has established operations in tier-II and III cities of Kanpur, Dehradun, Siliguri, Jaipur, Indore, Chennai, Lucknow, Trivandrum, Kolkata, Surat, Ranchi etc. It has established dedicated sector-specific accelerator programmes, and has closed 59 deals in the year 2018 alone which cumulatively invested INR 308 crore for its portfolio companies. This was the highest among Indian angel networks for the second year running, with Venture Catalysts completing almost twice the number of deals than the second network on the list.