India, while one of the biggest markets for churning out engineers, has a real problem when it comes to producing qualified entry level job seekers. Every year, lakhs of graduates barge out of university doors, and still, only a small percentage of them are employable. Masai School, an innovative start-up, recognized this problem, and reached to the conclusion that there needs to be fundamental change in India’s education system. The idea, as well as startup have been gaining popularity and support steadily due to the company’s innovative teaching style and fee structure, and due to massive demand, Masai School has secured a sizeable funding of $5 million in a Series A funding round.
Notably, this round saw double the amount of funding than that secured in the proceeding August pre-series A funding round, in which it had secured an investment of USD 2.5 million.
The funding was led by Omidyar Network India, a firm known to have previously invested in similar ventures. Omidyar Network usually invests in companies who work for the benefit of the lower-income families and similarly dis-privileged classes, as well as offering grants to NGOs. Other participants of the round include Unitus Ventures – who led the August funding round-, India Quotient and AngelList India.
Set up in 2019, Masai School focuses on building individuals who not only have a educational degree but also employability. It focuses on developing practical, career-oriented skills in students and offers multiple courses in technology. The unique factor about the firm is its fees structure – it doesn’t require its students to pay the fees during the course of the study. Students are expected to start paying the fees in instalment brackets only after they have secured a job of 5LPA or above within a year. These instalments can also be paused if the candidate loses his/her job. The firm also has a board of well-known hiring partners such as Samsung, Sharechat, Paytm and MPL among others.
The firm also offers a living allowance of Rs.15,000 per month to its top-performing students during the course of their study.
With this new funding, Masai School hopes to provide this allowance to a larger number of students. Other goals which the firm is looking to achieve with this funding include hiring a larger faculty to serve the expanding demand, building better infrastructure, hiring industry experts to teach their courses, as well as expanding the number of courses available and launching several free of cost programs to support students from economically weaker sects of society and more.
The company also hopes to hire industry experts to build and impart curriculum across new disciplines such as UI, UX, Product Management, Data Analytics.
“This round of funding comes at a time when we as a company are evolving and progressing to the next level. We are excited to have Omidyar Network India as a partner on this journey, their keen understanding of the state of education at a global level will bring immense value; which is likely to help us grow in a very mature manner. The funding will primarily be used to expand our curriculum and contribute to the transitioning of our business model from being a coding centric to a career focused institute. With that said, we are on track to graduate more than 2000 learners in FY 2020-21,” said Prateek Shukla, CEO and Co-Founder, Masai School.
This funding comes on the heel of a rapid increase in investments in the field of ed-tech, as the education sector witnesses a complete shift of focus to remote learning, thanks to COVID 19. Companies like Byju’s and Unacademy have been raising huge amounts of capital lately, and it looks like remote learning is here to stay, even when coronavirus becomes a thing of the past.