S Chand to acquire minority stake in Government Test Prep segment focussed Edtech Startup – ixamBee
NEW DELHI, April 24, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — S Chand and Company Limited, along with its subsidiaries has agreed to acquire a minority stake in AToZLearn Edutech Private Limited, a differentiated Edtech company that makes exam preparation 50% faster. The round also includes investments from Directors of S Chand, Key Managerial Personnel of S Chand, Mukesh Sharma Family Trust, Inflection Point Ventures (IPV), Firstport Capital, Keiretsu Forum and Others.
ixamBee (AToZLearn Edutech Private Limited) was founded by Chandraprakash Joshi, Arunima Sinha and Sandeep Singh in December 2016 in Delhi NCR. ixamBee has carved a niche for itself by creating a superior ‘ixamBee Learning Experience (iLX)’ that helps small town students in preparing for job related exams with a special focus on government jobs and makes their exam preparation 50% faster. The company’s objective is to help unskilled graduates and undergraduates prepare effectively for competitive Government examinations like those conducted by banks, insurance companies, Railways etc. ixamBee had earlier raised funds from Mumbai Angels Network, JITO Angel Network, Keyur Joshi (co-founder MakeMyTrip) and a few noted alumni of the ISB, Hyderabad.
The Investment Rationale for the investment is as follows-:
- Addressable market opportunity is large. In India, over 80 million graduates are preparing for various jobs in public and private sector. Most of ixamBee’s users come from Tier 2/3 towns, who do not get quality education or access to the right guidance.
- Focus on students from ‘Bharat’. Their exam preparation platform ‘ixamBee’ focuses primarily on rural and semi-urban students. There are exam-focused learning materials on the platform like mock tests, online test series, online practice tests, and speed tests etc which are created by in-house experts.
- Solution to expensive coaching institutes and lack of choices for the girl child. Students relocate to bigger cities for studies and spend high amounts for coaching and stay during preparation for these exams. Additionally, we see a gap in the sense that many parents in these cities do not send girls to other cities even when they can afford it financially for exam preparation. ixamBee is providing a solution to this need in the market.
- Experienced team with a proven business model. The team has pedigree and has done well to scale business to this level with minimum investments.
- Synergies with the S Chand group for the joint development of high quality content for S Chand’s Test Prep segment. They also envisage quicker Go to Market for new product launches in this segment.
Key strengths for AToZLearn Edutech Private Limited are as follows-:
- Affordable Pricing.
- Highly Scalable Model.
- Strong Founding team. AToZLearn Edutech Private Limited was founded by Industry professionals who also have strong professional experience in this field.
a. Mr. Chandraprakash Joshi – Co-Founder & CEO
i. Professional Experience – Yes Bank, RBI, MBA from ISB Hyderabad.
ii. LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/chandraprakashjoshi/
b. Ms. Arunima Sinha – Co-Founder & Chief Learning Officer (CLO)
i. Professional Experience – SIBDI, Founder – STRATAGEM Coaching.
ii. LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/arunima-sinha-13bb52b0/
c. Mr. Sandeep Singh – Co-Founder & CTO
i. Professional Experience – Makemytrip, Sirez Ltd, Founder – Babyhugz.
ii. LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandeep-singh-2085643/
- Robust Social Media Presence – ixamBee has over 280K YouTube subscribers, 1.2 Billion minutes of Youtube engagement along with over 29m+ visits on the website.
- Usage of Fund raise. The team is looking to expand by launching new courses and the fund raised would be utilized for content creation, marketing, technology etc.
“We are excited to be a part of the journey of ixamBee which is focused on enabling students for employment both in the government and private sector filling in the gap between higher education and employability. The focus on providing quality and affordable learning to students in semi-urban and rural areas, so that their aspirations and dreams can be a reality, is in line with the S Chand vision of quality and affordable education opportunities. We find a lot of synergies with ixamBee on quality content development, marketing and meeting the aspiration of future work force of the country,” says Mr. Himanshu Gupta, Managing Director, S Chand Group.
“Most of our users come from Tier 2/3 towns, who do not get quality education or access to the right guidance. Working on a freemium business model, we have reached to more than 12 million students. 1.8 million students have attempted 730 million questions on ixamBee platform. We are excited to have S Chand Group, Mukesh Sharma Family Trust and IPV as investors in ixamBee as they bring numerous synergies for business growth. The participation of the S Chand Group, one of the leading education content companies of India which will lead to multifold increase in the reach of ixamBee Learning Experience (iLX) while, IPV’s network is going to be helpful in partnering with corporates for placing students in the private sector,” says Mr. Chandraprakash Joshi, ixamBee CEO.
Mr. Mukesh Sharma, Managing Trustee of Mukesh Sharma Family Trust, says, “We are delighted to be part of ixamBee’s mission to transform the lives of millions of students across Tier 2, 3, and 4 cities in India by providing them with quality education and guidance. At Mukesh Sharma Family Trust, we believe in empowering the next generation with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive world. ixamBee’s innovative approach to exam preparation, coupled with their commitment to bridging the gap between higher education and employability, aligns perfectly with our vision of fostering a bright future for the nation’s youth. We are confident that our investment will contribute to the growth and impact of ixamBee, enabling even more students to realize their dreams of meaningful and fulfilling careers.”
Dr Vishal Gandhi, Founder & CEO, BVA (BIORx Venture Advisors Private Limited) not only acted as the Exclusive Strategic & Financial Advisor in the current round but has also shown his commitment by investing in the current financing round of ixamBee.
About S Chand And Company
S. Chand and Company is one of the leading education content companies delivering content across the length and breadth of the country. The company provides content, solutions, and services across the education lifecycle through its presence in three business segments – Early Learning, K- 12 and Higher Education. The company has a strong foothold in the CBSE/ICSE affiliated schools, WBSE affiliated schools with increasing presence in the state board affiliated schools across India. The company develops and nurtures its relationships with customers by developing quality content and educational innovations, and in recent years have increased focus on investing and improving the digital product offerings in each of the business segments.
The company has more than 11,000 book titles across competitive exams & reference books, technical & professional books, schoolbooks and higher academic books. We have presence and extensive distribution system across India through over 3000+ channel partners. The company also exports print content to over 20 countries and digital content to 5 countries in SAARC, South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and other parts of the world. Some of the well-known brands include S Chand, Vikas, Madhubun, New Saraswati House and Chhaya Prakashani and digital brands S Chand Academy, Learnflix, Mylestone, SmartK, Testcoach, Destination Success, myStudygear, Madhubun Educate 360 and Ignitor.
The company has made exits in its investments in Testbook (Up ~8x) and iNeuron Intelligence (>2x) during FY23 and is a significant investor in Smartivity Labs.
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