China’s Tencent leads $15m funding in Indian edtech startup Doubtnut

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Gurugram-based edtech platform Doubtnut Friday announced that it has raised $15 million in Series A funding led by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings, which is known for its WeChat messaging app.

The round also saw participation from existing investors Omidyar Network India, AET, Japan and Ankit Nagori (Co-founder Cure.Fit, Ex-CBO Flipkart) and Sequoia Capital India, the company said in a statement.

Prior to this, the company raised $3.3 million in its pre-Series A round in April last year in a round led by Surge, the startup accelerator and incubator platform of Sequoia Capital, Waterbridge Ventures, Omidyar Network India, and AET, Japan, the statement added.

Doubtnut said it will use the funds to widen its pan-India distribution, build on its content repository to cater to a fast expanding target group, invest in strengthening its technology stack, and scaling its team.

“Tencent will add immense value to our journey. Their experience of working with Yuanfudao in China will help our team get fresh and valuable perspective on distribution first edtech models,” said Aditya Shankar, Co-Founder, Doubtnut.

Founded in October 2017 by Tanushree Nagori and Shankar, Doubtnut caters to K-12, IIT JEE and NEET students. It offers a multi-lingual online learning platform that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies for image recognition, natural language processing and to provide video-based solutions in response to students’ queries. Students can simply upload a photo of their problem and the Doubtnut app serves up a video of the solution within 10 seconds.

The company claims to have over 13 million monthly active users across several platforms (web, app, Youtube and Whatsapp). The platform has witnessed 30x growth in its daily active users since March 2019.

Tencent, which counts some of India’s largest startups including Flipkart, Ola, Swiggy and Byju’s among its portfolio firms, is reportedly looking to increase its bets on Indian tech startups as venture capital investments have slowed back home.

Early last year, Tencent marked its foray into the country’s fintech sector with its investment in neobanking platform NiYo. In October last year, it led a $110.8-million new funding round in MX Player, a popular video app in India. A month later, Tencent acquired a stake in India’s PolicyBazaar in a secondary transaction from Tiger Global Management.

 

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. 
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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.