Indonesian edtech startup Ruangguru raises seven-digit series A funding from Venturra Capital, East Ventures

Co-founder Ruangguru Belva and Iman - Photo by Ruangguru

Indonesia education portal Ruangguru.com said it had bagged a seven-digit U.S dollar Series A round led by Venturra Capital, a $150 million Indonesia-based Southeast Asian-focused venture fund

East Ventures also participated with a follow-on funding in this round, after its seed investment in August 2014.

The funding will be used to strengthen human resources and new verticals to the company, the edtech startup said.

For Venturra Capital, this marks its second deal within days. Earlier this week, Singapore-based BitX had announced an undisclosed amount of additional funding from Venturra Capital, that saw the Southeast Asia foucssed VC firm joining existing investors, Naspers Group, Digital Currency Group, Ariadne Capital and angel investor Carol Realini.

Ruangguru.com aims to be the largest tech-enabled education provider in the region, focusing on providing quality teachers and content. Since its launch in April 2014, the Ruangguru.com platform has been used by over 22,000 tutors to connect with potential students across Indonesia, offering a wide variety of lessons including school subjects, standardized test preparation, foreign languages, music, sports, and much more, the company said.

Ruangguru has made a name for itself due to its high quality tutors, which consist of award-winning university students from top universities, experienced career teachers, and other established individuals.

In 2015, Ruangguru had expanded its services to include an online test-preparation platform – known as Tes.ruangguru.com. The platform enables students to access thousands of question banks tailored to national education curriculum for free. The platform will also provide data analytics to help students understand better about their learning status and progress and allow students to focus on areas they are weak in.

The platform has already attracted significant interest from the government, with its recent high-profile official pilot with the Department of Education of Jakarta to help public and private school teachers prepare for National Teachers’ Competency Exam (UKG). Tes.ruangguru.com also plans to grow by nurturing partnerships with top universities around the country.

The Faculty of Medicine of University of Indonesia recently decided to use Tes.ruangguru.com to conduct its online try out for university entrance exam nationally.

“We are extremely excited to partner with Venturra Capital as our new investor.Their affiliation with Lippo Group is beneficial as we are already planning strategic partnerships with their big-name businesses including Pelita Harapan Education Chain, Berita Satu Media Group, and many others, to significantly scale up our reach nationally,” said Iman Usman, CEO and co-founder of Ruangguru.com.

“We see Belva and Iman as strong and dedicated founders who are passionate about making significant impact to the education sector in Indonesia, and with their leadership, we believe that Ruangguru has the potential to dominate the online education space in Indonesia,” managing partner of Venturra Capital, Rudy Ramawy added.

Ruangguru.com recently launched a tutor development program called “Guru Hebat”. This effort further differentiates the company’s offering from the competing offline tutoring service providers. The program is now running in Greater Jakarta area and will be rolled out to other Indonesian big cities in the coming months.

Ruangguru.com won Indonesia’s Best Education Web in Bubu Award this year. The company was founded by Adamas Belva (25) and Iman Usman ( 24).

Belva previously worked at Goldman Sachs Singapore, the Office of the President of Indonesia, and McKinsey & Company Jakarta before pursuing his double masters at Stanford (MBA) and Harvard (MPA).

Iman received his Master in Education Development at Columbia University and is a recipient of multiple awards and fellowships for his current and past work in education and youth development, including from the UNICEF, Qatar Foundation, British Council, among others. He previously worked for a couple of years in non-profit and development sector in Jakarta and New York.

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