XSEED raises funding to reach 10M childrenDec 09, 2016
SINGAPORE/BANGALORE – XSEED Education, one of Asia’s fastest growing education companies educating 1 million children in eight countries, announced that it closed a Series-B investment worth an undisclosed amount from Verlinvest, Belgium-based international venture firm. Proceeds from this round of investment will be utilised by XSEED to scale its footprint to reach 10 million children by strengthening its technology platform, international footprint, and brand in the K-8 elementary education space.
XSEED is among the few companies in K-12 school education who have demonstrated innovation, scale, impact, and commercial success. Founded by Ashish Rajpal, a Harvard Education school alum who quit an international corporate career to pursue his vision for children, XSEED is headquartered in Singapore with development centers in Delhi and Bangalore. In eight years XSEED has raced from zero to a million children, quietly disrupting the publisher led school market with its pioneering 5-Step Curriculum cum Training based program that emphasizes skills over memorization. Lighthouse Funds, a Mumbai and New York-based fund, was the first investor in XSEED in 2010. While not disclosing the exact size of the latest round, company sources confirmed it was significantly larger than its Series A of $ 10 M.
Speaking about the investment, Frederic de Mevius, Chairman of the Board, Verlinvest noted – “We are excited to begin this partnership with XSEED and Ashish Rajpal. We believe there is a great potential to improve early education in India and XSEED addresses this with a compelling proposition. Verlinvest prides itself on being a daring investor in the consumer world and enabling entrepreneurs through inspiring journeys. XSEED fits well within this vision.” XSEED is Verlinvest’s first education investment and Nicholas Cator, Executive Director, will join the company’s board of directors.
Announcing the investment, XSEED Founder and Chairman Ashish Rajpal shared “There is an urgent need to re-tailor elementary education to equip children to succeed in the 21st century. Schooling based on rote, memorization, fear, and disregard of individual uniqueness, does not do that. Instead, XSEED is bringing thinking, creativity, and skills, to both teachers and children, in every kind of school.” Elaborating on XSEED’s vision and emphasizing the kind of investors the education sector needs, he said, “Our next goal is to impact ten million children. We seek investors who understand our vision, are long term in their thinking, and have a value system that supports human development. Verlinvest and Lighthouse are just that, and we are fortunate to have their support.”
XSEED is playing in a space that is ripe for change. The current K-12 school system in India is one of the largest in the world with more than 1.4 million schools with 250+ million students enrolled. However, today’s schooling system rigidly focused on memorizing content, is failing these children at a massive scale. Studies shows that understanding of basic concepts among students studying even in the most well regarded Indian schools was lower than the international averages. ASER studies year after year have shown that class five could not properly read a text written for class two pupils. While several school business models have emerged, almost none have been able to impact the on-the-ground learning of children. XSEED is changing that.
Speaking about the impact of XSEED, noted educationist Dr. Y.G.Parthasarathy (of the well- known Padma Sheshadri Group of Schools in Chennai) stated “Padma Sheshadri is proud to have partnered with XSEED for the last 7 years as we saw a clear match between our philosophy of child- centered learning and the XSEED way. The XSEED program is research-led, makes teaching consistent and learning more hands-on for every child. Ashish is very passionate about transforming elementary education and has a truly committed team.”
XSEED was advised by O3 Capital and BMR Legal for this transaction.
About XSEED Education: Headquartered in Singapore, with development centers in Delhi and Bangalore, XSEED has gained a reputation as one of the most exciting education companies in the world today. XSEED’s core capability lies in the learning, teaching, and assessment of K-8 children. Its flagship school program educates over one million children, through 75,000 reskilled teachers, in close to 3,000 across eight countries. XSEED has built a world-class leadership team with education, technology, and business expertise, drawn from top institutions and multi-nationals. In India, XSEED’s program and materials are aligned with CBSE, ICSE, and various state-boards.
About Verlinvest: Verlinvest S.A. was founded in 1995 and is based in Brussels (Belgium) with offices in New York and Singapore. It currently manages over €1.5billion. It is a private family investment holding company specialising in growth capital with the objective to diversify its investors’ holdings by making private investments in the consumer sector. Verlinvest seeks to invest in growth capital, late venture, expansion, and buy-out transactions.