Education and development tools are essential in a climate where companies are struggling to keep talent and are experiencing skill gaps.
This ongoing situation has created a booming economy for upskilling platforms, and 2021 saw a record year of investment in the ed-tech space. On the back of this ed-tech buzz, India-based education start-up, Scaler, has now reached a valuation of $700 million.
The company has raised $55 million in its Series B round of funding, which was led by Lightrock India. Additional contributions were made by existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Tiger Global. This brings the total funding for Scaler to $76.5 million.
At the moment Scaler is working with enterprises like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, PayPal, Adobe, and VMWare to provide in-depth courses on data and machine learning. The service typically offers users three to four sessions per week at a cost of $3,350 per course.
Abhimanyu Saxena, the co-founder of Scaler, told TechCrunch that the outcome of these courses is designed to close the “massive gap that exists between what college and other institutions are producing and what the tech industry demands”.
Additional interest around Scaler was generated when it received a $400 million buyout offer from Indian EdTech giant Unacademy in late 2021.
Nonetheless, the company has plans to tread its own path.
According to a blog post, Scaler will use the investment to “aggressively pursue international expansion”, launch new products, and acquire companies. Additionally, the company wants to increase its headcount, as well as its customer base.
Saxena commented: “We were humbled by the strong interest shown by the global investing community who want to be part of Scaler’s future and play a significant role in shaping India’s technology skill space.
“We decided to go with Lightrock India and our existing investors (Sequoia Capital India & Tiger Global), who share our vision of what we are trying to do at Scaler.
“The failure of legacy institutions in India’s higher education sector, particularly in the IT space, has opened up opportunities for avowed status-quo disruptors like Scaler to push a new kind of thinking that looks beyond cost arbitrage-based success.
“Technologies like machine learning and data science will create a new kind of India powered by communication technologies like 5G that will have a far-reaching impact on the country’s socio-economic status.
“We are creating the skilling ecosystem that will ensure that we succeed by creating a future-ready India.”
Divya Venkatavaraghavan, a principal investor at Lightrock India, added: “The team at Scaler Academy are transforming higher education in India by democratizing the privilege of working in technology for millions of Indians.
“They are building a learning community that is accountable for outcomes and designed for the future of work.
“We are privileged to partner with them on this exceptional journey as they help unlock the demographic dividend of India.”