Edtech start-up Uolo raises USD 22.5 million in a Series-A funding round led by UAE-headquartered VC fund Winter Capital. The funding round saw participation from existing investors Blume Ventures and the new Dubai-based fund Morphosis Venture Capital. Uolo had previously raised seed funding of INR 20 Crore (USD 3Mn) led by VC funds Blume Ventures in November 2020.
In India, the world’s second most populous country, parents consider education to be the passport to their children’s financial success. In fact, 120 million children (40% of all school-aged children in India) attend the country’s over 400,000 private schools, which are seen as superior to government-run public schools. This makes India the world's largest private school market with more than twice as many students attending them as those who attend all the schools in the US (about 55 million).
Uolo partners with private schools and helps them develop online capabilities. The Company then introduces high-quality and affordable phygital learning programs, which are aligned with the school curriculums. Uolo’s open architecture platform allows third-party education publishers and new-age content creators to develop physical learning programs for K-12 schools and students. These programs usually come with a book, which the teacher uses during classes, as well as digital activities for students to complete at home.
“The truth is that, after a few hours of play, rest and mandatory school homework, K-12 students do not have much time left. The edtech solutions need to build on top of 6 hours spent in school daily and magnify the outcomes by leveraging the smartphones available at home. The lack of alignment with school, together with exorbitant pricing is causing edtech companies to falter”, said Pallav Pandey, CEO of Uolo
Uolo has partnered with more than 8500 schools across India and currently reaches over 3.7 million students. Uolo offers learning programs in coding (aligned with the school’s Computer Science Curriculum) and English Speaking (aligned with the school’s English Curriculum). Students use a parent/ guardian’s smartphone at home to complement their in-school learning. The Company plans to introduce more programs across STEAM subjects in the coming months.
The Company raised USD 22.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Winter Capital. The venture capital firm is a global growth equity investment firm headquartered in the UAE. With USD 1.4bn under management across three funds, Winter Capital focuses on growth equity investments in consumer industries going through technology-enabled change. The funds invest globally in fast-growing tech companies across four select verticals: financial, healthcare, education, and consumer services.
“The first wave of edtech companies in India have proven consumer interest in online education. However, they lacked a cost-effective distribution. We believe that there will be a new generation of edtech companies capable of building organic, low-cost distribution, allowing students to study at $10 per year rather than $10 per hour. Our investment in Uolo is based on our confidence in this type of company,” said Anton Farlenkov, Managing Director of Winter Capital.
This is a shortened form for school grades prior to college/ university. It includes kindergarten (K) and grades 1 through 12 (1-12).