India’s Sunstone Eduversity close to raising $25m from Westbridge Capital

Photo: Reuters

Gurugram-headquartered Sunstone Eduversity, an edtech startup that offers a ‘pay after placement’ fee structure for higher education programmes, is close to raising $25 million in a funding round from private equity firm Westbridge Capital, DealStreetAsia has learnt.

Owned by Sunstone Education Tech. Pvt. Ltd, the company is raising the sum at a pre-money valuation of $75 million, said an industry source on condition of anonymity.

The development comes almost a year after Sunstone Eduversity raised Rs 24 crore in its Series A funding round led by Saama Capital, with participation from Helion Advisors MD Ashish Gupta and PeopleStrong co-founder and CEO Pankaj Bansal. Existing investors Prime Venture Partners, Rajul Garg and Purvi Capital also participated in that round.

Separate emails to WestBridge Capital and Sunstone seeking details of the fresh funding did not elicit a response at the time of publishing this article. DealStreetAsia has also tried reaching founder Ashish Munjal for comments.

Founded by IMT-Ghaziabad alumnus Ashish Munjal and Piyush Nangru, Sunstone works closely with corporates to develop industry-ready specialisation programmes in the verticals of BFSI, logistics, sales management, digital marketing and others. It claims to have established a 100% placement record to date and has over 200 companies visiting the campuses every year to hire fresh talent.

Sunstone had eight partner institutions in six cities till September last year and was aiming to have 20 partners in 15 cities by July this year.

Some of the prominent recruiters for its 2018-2020 batch were Axis Bank, HDFC, WNS, Genpact, Amazon, TCS, Karvy, Byju’s, Reliance Retail, PolicyBazaar and Swiggy among others.

Edtech startups have been garnering the attention of investors since the beginning of last year when India first went into nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Total funding in education/training startups stands at about $3.35 billion across 91 transactions for the January-August, 2021 period, according to proprietary data compiled by DealStreetAsia. Some of the recent funding deals were clinched by Lido Learning, Byju’s, Camp K12, Eruditus, Unacademy, Simplilearn, among others.

The education sector is also witnessing consolidation, with several mergers and acquisitions. Earlier this month, Delhi-based B2B edtech startup Eupheus Learning acquired ClassKlap in a $19 million all-stock deal.

This month, edtech major Byju’s also announced the acquisition of the online test preparation platform Gradeup, marking its eighth acquisition in 2021. Last month, Scaler Academy, an up-skilling platform for tech professionals and college students, had acquired the online learning platform Coding Elements.

Meanwhile, Westbridge has been an active investor in the Indian startup space. Its other bets in the Indian edtech sector include online tutoring platform Vedantu, and LEAD School, a provider of school and curriculum management services.

Outside edtech, Westbridge is invested in voice AI startup Skit, CX automation platform Yellow.ai, social commerce platform DealShare, HR tech startup Phenom People, bike taxi startup Rapido, and online lending platform Biz2Credit.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.