Will Harvard Alumnus Lead EdTech Startup Eruditus to become India’s Next Unicorn?

One of the major reasons for Eruditus to grow is that they expanded their horizon and explored new markets


The energetic startup ecosystem is working towards boosting the investment domain domestically and globally. Praxis Global Alliance, a management consulting firm, came up with India’s soon to be Unicorns startup list, having 35 new businesses that can possibly accomplish a $1 billion-plus valuation (Unicorn) in near future.

Eruditus is in India’s next 35 Unicorns List, Why?

In a pandemic situation when Universities were closing down globally, Eruditus offered executive diplomas and other leading programmes from globally recognized universities and hence was well placed to grow.
One of the major reasons for Eruditus to grow is that they expanded their horizon, given the target universities they started enrolling students globally for their courses and shifted their focus from Indian classrooms to global classrooms which attracted more institutional capital. In 2015, Eruditus moved from offline to online platform and even before COVID-19, 80% of the Company’s revenue was coming from the online mode.

Eruditus Funding Journey, Current Evaluation and Recent Funding

Eruditus Education Executive started in 2010, after six years of inception, it raised its first ever funding of $2 million from Bertelsmann India investments. Slowly inching towards Unicorn club, it had $10-12 million revenue in 2017 when they raised a Series B round of $8 million. While it took six years to get $10 million in revenue, in four more years it has zoomed to $100 million revenues in FY20. Then later in 2018, Eruditus raised their series C round of funding led by global venture capital firm Sequoia Capital and raised $40 million. And in series D round led by Leeds Illuminate and Prosus Ventures along with Chan Zuckerberg initiative and other existing investors, Eruditus raised $113 million, doubling its valuation from $400 to $800 million in a jiffy.
Eruditus went from zero to $10 million revenue in just six years, $10 to $100 Million in three years, and after Series D round of funding, the startup closed its funding at an $800 million valuation.

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In a pandemic situation when Universities were closing down globally, Eruditus offered executive diplomas and other leading programmes from globally recognized universities and hence was well placed to grow.

Milestones in their ‘To-Be Unicorn’ Journey

Offline to Online

Having a post-money valuation of $410 million the startup can be envisioned to turn Unicorn in 12 months. Inching towards the unicorn club, growing slowly, steadily, without any fuss or hype, and increasing their base from offline to online changed the outlook of the tech company totally.

The First Failure

Even before starting their journey, the startup failed at their very first 3-months executive programme. From 2010-2015 they only launched partnerships with Harvard, Wharton, INSEAD, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), persuading them one by one. This was not playing out well for Eruditus as it turned out to be very expensive and was only possible off-season for the universities.

Setback or Stepping Stone?

Ashwin Damera, the co-founder and CEO of Eruditus, could see a positive growth path amidst the supposed setbacks. Raising the money much later gave them the time to build their product, understand the market, and stay under the radar.

The ‘Unicorn’ Tag is Not the Goal

Eruditus decided on a cohort-based approach and dedicated themselves to take everything slowly and steadily. The CEO states is focused on a larger purpose. The main objective is not to become a unicorn, but to single-mindedly work towards doing the right thing for the company.

Vaishali Das
Vaishali Das
Vaishali writes on financial concepts, business-life-cycle, start-ups and entrepreneurship. An alumna of Delhi University she specialises in digital publishing and SEO.

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