The aim of imparting education to one and all led to the establishment of an educational startup Eruditus, founded by Chaitanya Kalipatnapu and Ashwin Damera in 2010. It offers six to eight-month long-executive educational courses to students in partnership with leading universities like INSEAD, London Business School, Columbia, Wharton, Harvard Business School, Tuck at Dartmouth, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and UC Berkeley. The courses range from $5,000 to $40,000 and are readily available in online, off-campus, and on-campus modes. Their area of focus revolves around leadership, finance, management, and banking subjects.
Starting with an offline mode, the company touched a revenue figure of $10 million in 2016 and the after-effects of the Covid-19 pandemic saw an inclination for going online, with the valuation further raised by $650 million in series E funding, led by investments from Accel US and Softbank Vision Fund II from the prior $700 million in Series D funding round, led by Leeds Illuminate, Prosus Ventures and a non-profit organization, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), initiated by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. Damera once quoted that, “Universities have built an amazing business model around rejecting people. This education changed our lives, but how can we change others’ lives?” This conscious thought raised the company’s valuation to $3.2 billion, making it India’s third-highest valued tech startup.
Eruditus made it to the unicorn club along with the three other companies namely, Byju’s- $16.5 billion (now a decacorn), Unacademy- $3.4 billion, and UpGrad- $1.2 billion, totaling 23 Indian startups crossing the $1 billion mark.
Eruditus plans to use this funding to start new courses in collaboration with the universities, bring effective innovations like telepresence and AR/VR to enhance the learning experience, fund acquisitions for better learning technologies, and create new products as per the requirements to make online education a real-time experience. Chaitanya Kalipatnapu also said, “We are fortunate to have the backing of investors who hold a long-term view and will help us grow 10 times over the next three years. We will use the funding to also make inorganic bets in newer areas of learning and to go deep in our existing geographies.”
Currently working with an active engagement of a team of 1550 members across 14 countries, Eruditus aims to expand its reach of high-quality education to every segment in the next 10 years. Apart from partnering with the universities, it also plans to join hands with loan providers for easy access to education loans, provide digital transformations, and involve global industry practitioners for a wide perspective. By the end of 2030, it aims for a global presence to ensure democratic access to quality education.