Indonesian edtech startup Zenius in talks to raise $20m pre-Series B

Photo: Zenius website

Indonesian edtech firm Zenius is in advanced talks to raise $20 million in a pre-Series B round from a slew of global investors, two sources familiar with the matter told DealStreetAsia.

Talks of the proposed funding surface at a time when the company is planning to raise another tranche of capital for its Series B round next year, added one of the persons mentioned above.

“Many interests [have] come from global investors to Zenius. They expect Indonesia’s edtech platforms to duplicate the success of Indian edtech platforms. Furthermore, COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of online learning,” said a separate source on condition of anonymity.

When contacted, Rohan Monga, CEO at Zenius, declined to comment.

The edtech sector is increasingly witnessing traction amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that has prompted students and educational institutes across the region to embrace online learning.

The sudden and massive migration from physical to digital classrooms over the past few months have put startups operating in the sector in sharp focus with deal activity gaining momentum.

According to data available with UNESCO, as many as 1.078 billion learners were affected across 116 countries due to the closure of schools in June 2020 alone. Meanwhile, March was the worst impacted, when 1.575 billion learners were affected in 182 countries across the world as most nations imposed a lockdown.

Earlier this year, Zenius secured as much as $20 million in its Series A funding round led by Singapore-based private equity firm Northstar Group. Venture capital firms Kinesys Group and Beenext also participated in the round.

Established in 2007, Zenius is one of the first edtech companies in the archipelago to venture into video-based online learning – it launched zenius.net in 2010.

Zenius Education offers learning solutions to students to help them understand concepts and scientific reasoning. The startup reportedly offers 80,000 learning videos and thousands of practice quizzes, catering to elementary to high school students.

Among other edtech firms that have raised capital in Indonesia, CoLearn was selected into Sequoia India’s Surge programme, which provided $1-2 million in capital to the startup. Meanwhile, Arkademi and Gredu closed seed rounds in early 2020.

Singapore Reporter/s

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

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  • 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.