TheNFAPost Podcast
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New funds enable company to globally scale course portfolio with university partners

Bengaluru, NFAPost: The Eruditus group, consisting of Eruditus Executive Education (www.eruditus.com) and its online division EMERITUS (www.emeritus.org), announced the successful completion of its Series D funding totaling $113 million (including secondary sales) led by Leeds Illuminate and Prosus Ventures (formerly Naspers Ventures).

Around 10-year-old edutech company started by Indian founders Ashwin Damera and Chaitanya Kalipatnapuy also got funding from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and existing investors Sequoia India and Ved Capital as part of Series D round.

Eruditus, with offices in six countries, over 650 employees and more than 50,000 student enrolments over the last 12 months, is a global leader in the $280 billion global professional education market.

Singapore-headquartered Eruditus partners with top-tier universities across the United States, Europe, Latin America, India and China to bring world-class business and professional education to a global audience.

The company also has partnered with more than 30 universities to date, including MIT, Columbia, Harvard, Cambridge, INSEAD, Wharton, UC Berkeley, INCAE, IIT, IIM, NUS and HKUST, launching more than 100 courses and serving students from more than 80 countries. Many courses are offered and facilitated in multiple languages, including Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin.

According to sources close to the company said Eruditus will use the new funds to increase its engagement with existing and new partner universities, to deepen its operations in emerging markets and to invest in creating career-ready courses to meet the skills required of the global workforce in a post-pandemic world.

University partners

Eruditus Co-Founder and CEO Ashwin Damera said the company will collaborate closely with its university partners to make high-quality education more accessible and affordable.

“Covid-19 is dramatically accelerating change across higher education. We are engaging more deeply with universities worldwide to help them expand their online portfolio and global footprint. We chose Leeds Illuminate,  Prosus Ventures and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as mission-aligned partners that provide strategic value that goes beyond capital to support our growth,” said Eruditus Co-Founder and CEO Ashwin Damera.

The funding comes at a time when edutech companies are witnessing exponential growth due to Cvodi-19 pandemic as most of the students are heavily depended on online classes. This situation will continue and analysts are saying this is a transitional phase of the education sector as a whole with digital technologies will play a vital role henceforth.

Leeds Illuminater Managing Partner Susan Cates said Eruditus delivers tremendous value to working professionals and global universities, and we are delighted to partner with this team.

Interactive courses

“Innovative and interactive courses focused on skills of the future, delivered by sought-after global brands, create upward economic mobility for learners across the world. Eruditus provides the connective tissue to facilitate talent’s rise and global universities’ reach,” said Leeds Illuminater Managing Partner Susan Cates.

Prosus Ventures Head of Investments for India Ashutosh Sharma said education technology is a major focus for Prosus Ventures, and the company has now six edtech portfolio companies spanning education across K-12, vocational upskilling, lifelong learning, and now higher education with the inclusion of Eruditus.

“Eruditus’ goals are a great match for ours – democratising access of quality resources for a much broader audience. The value of the teachings of the great institutions has been rationed to those who can physically and monetarily access their facilities. Eruditus unlocks those assets and enables those institutions to help a whole new cohort of learners around the globe,” said Prosus Ventures Head of Investments for India Ashutosh Sharma.

Lauding founders Ashwin, Chaitanya and the team, Prosus Ventures Head of Investments for India Ashutosh Sharma said Eduditus has already built an impressive business with truly global reach and Prosus Ventures looks forward to helping it to build the company further.

Critical innovation

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Managing Partner Vivian Wu said Eruditus serves as a critical innovation partner for top universities as they expand online course offerings in response to workforce needs and market demand.

“We’re excited to support the growing partnerships between US universities and those in India, China and Latin America that are making truly high-quality education accessible to a broad and diverse range of students,” said Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Managing Partner Vivian Wu. Avendus Capital was the exclusive financial advisor to Eruditus on the transaction.

Eruditus
The Eruditus group, consisting of Eruditus Executive Education (www.eruditus.com) and its online division EMERITUS (www.emeritus.org), offers professional education courses in collaboration with top-ranked universities: including MIT, Columbia, Harvard, Cambridge, INSEAD, Dartmouth, Wharton, UC Berkeley, INCAE, IIT, IIM, NUS and HKUST.

Using technology and curriculum innovation, Eruditus enables working professionals who cannot enroll in full-time courses to access a top-tier, affordable education that will give them the skills needed to be the business leaders of tomorrow. The group’s global team includes 650+ employees located in Singapore, Boston, San Francisco, Dubai, Mexico City, Mumbai and Shanghai.

Leeds Illuminate
Leeds Illuminate is a growth equity firm dedicated to partnering with exceptional management teams in high growth companies in education and workforce development. The Firm is committed to improving outcomes in education (pre-K though higher ed), workplace access and advancement.

Together, Leeds Illuminate, with its focus on growth stage companies, and Leeds Equity Partners, with its focus on middle market buyouts, bring sector expertise and strategic insights to create long-term value for their partner companies and investors. Leeds Equity Partners was founded in 1993 and has deployed over $2.7 billion of capital across a broad spectrum of companies within the Knowledge Industries. 

Prosus
Prosus is a global consumer internet group and one of the largest technology investors in the world. Operating and investing globally in markets with long-term growth potential, Prosus builds leading consumer internet companies that empower people and enrich communities.

The group is focused on building meaningful businesses in the online classifieds, payments and fintech, and food delivery sectors in markets including India, Russia and Brazil. Through its ventures team investments, in areas including edtech and health, Prosus actively seeks new opportunities to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs who are using technology to address big societal needs.

Every day, millions of people use the products and services of companies that Prosus has invested in, acquired or built, including Avito, Brainly, BYJU’S, Codecademy, ElasticRun, eMAG, Honor, iFood, LazyPay, letgo, Meesho, Movile, OLX, PayU, Red Dot Payments, Remitly, SimilarWeb, Shipper, SoloLearn, Swiggy, and Udemy.

Similarly, hundreds of millions of people have made the platforms of its associates a part of their daily lives: Tencent (www.tencent.com), Mail.ru (www.corp.mail.ru), Ctrip.com International Limited (“Ctrip”), and DeliveryHero (www.deliveryhero.com).Prosus companies and associates help improve the lives of around a fifth of the world’s population. Prosus has a primary listing on Euronext Amsterdam and a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and is majority owned by Naspers.

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Founded by Dr. Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in 2015, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is a new kind of philanthropy that’s leveraging technology to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease, to improving education, to reforming the criminal justice system.

Across three core Initiative focus areas of Science, Education, and Justice & Opportunity, we’re pairing engineering with grant-making, impact investing, and policy and advocacy work to help build an inclusive, just and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit www.chanzuckerberg.com.

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