Tiger Global to lead $30m funding in Indian tutoring startup Vedantu

Photo: Reuters

Online tutoring startup Vedantu is in the process of raising $30 million in a round led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from WestBridge Capital, said two people familiar with the matter, requesting anonymity. The round will see Vedantu having a pre-money valuation of $100-110 million, they added.

The investment marks a departure for the New York-based hedge fund’s strategy, considering that it has mostly been backing new firms in the business-to-business (B2B) space in the last 8-10 months. It is also one of the first instances this year where Tiger Global is leading a round in one of its portfolio companies.

Tiger Global had previously invested in Vedantu in 2015. At that time, Lee Fixel from Tiger Global was handling the India investments. However, after Fixel’s departure from Tiger Global, investments in India are now being looked after by Scott Shleifer.

“This is the first time this year that Tiger Global is leading a round in one of its previous investee companies from the 2015 cohort,” said the first person. “This is a deviation because their latest focus had been B2B, enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS) and new investments.”

However, Vedantu’s stupendous growth over the last year prompted Tiger Global to move in this direction, the second person said. “It has grown really fast and they had a few term sheets from different investors.”

The company claims it has been growing at 30% month-on-month for the last six-seven months.

When contacted, Vedantu declined to comment on the development. Tiger Global and WestBridge Capital did not respond to Mint’s emailed queries till press time.

Founded by Vamsi Krishna, Anand Prakash and Pulkit Jain in 2014, Vedantu is an online portal offering coaching classes to students either in groups, or one-on-one sessions. It claims that around 9.8 million students access free content on the Vedantu platform and on YouTube, where the teachers conduct live sessions.

Last November, the company had raised $11 million in a round led by Omidyar Network, with contributions from existing investor Accel, and a $5 million infusion by China’s TAL Education Group. The money was used to deepen their presence in tier 2 and 3 towns.

It now has over 55% of its users from tier 2 and 3 areas.

Vedantu first raised money from Tiger Global and Accel in 2015 as part of its $5-million Series A round.

Experts tracking the space said this was an unusual move for Tiger Global, considering that under Schleifer, the fund was mostly making new investments so far this year.

Moreover, most of the over a dozen investments have been in the B2B and enterprise SaaS space such as in customer life cycle management platform CleverTap and agritech firm Ninjacart.

That said, Tiger Global has also infused money into some of its portfolio companies such as Razorpay, NestAway and Grofers.

Earlier this month, the firm had led a $75-million round in services platform UrbanClap, which was one of its first investments in the consumer internet space this year.

Other new investments by Tiger Global include logistics management software company Locus and enterprise cloud platform for the beauty and wellness sector, Zenoti.

This article was first published on livemint.com

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.