Online education start-up Springboard raises $9.5 million funding led by Costanoa

Springboard claims its students have been recruited by companies like Google Inc., Visa Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Capital One Financial Corp. and The Nielsen Corp.

Bengaluru: Online education start-up Springboard, which provides courses for professionals, on Monday said it has raised $9.5 million in a Series A funding round led by Costanoa Ventures, with participation from Learn Capital and Appdynamics founder Jyoti Bansal. Existing investors including Blue Fog Capital, Rocketship.vc and Moneta Ventures also participated in the round.

Springboard has offices in Bengaluru and California. It focuses on skill-based courses like data science, user experience design and business analytics, among others. It will use the fresh funding to expand into newer verticals and geographies in India, and to upgrade its technology base.

In addition to short-term skill courses, Springboard also offers longer job-focused programs in areas including digital marketing and data science. The company said that its career program in data science provides graduates with a refund in case they don’t find a job after training.

Springboard’s training model involves connecting each student with an industry mentor who provides frequent feedback and career advice. Springboard claims its students have been recruited by companies like Google Inc., Visa Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Capital One Financial Corp. and The Nielsen Corp.

It has trained more than 7,000 students till date, and claims to have students and alumni in nearly 80 countries. The company also has more than 350 professional mentors on its platform from companies including Amazon, Airbnb Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc.

“Millennials are likely to have 15 jobs with four to five career changes through their working lives. But options to make those life-changing shifts either involve leaving your job to go to graduate school or relying on online classes with no support. Springboard allows the convenience of learning online, but with a robust project-based curriculum and human support,” Gautam Tambay , chief executive officer of Springboard said in a statement.

“If you look at any great institution, whether it is Harvard, Stanford or IITs closer to home, their brand is built on the successes and contributions of their alumni. We expect it to be no different at Springboard. Our alumni work at great companies and come back to mentor or hire graduates of our programs,” Parul Gupta, co-founder at Springboard added.

According to a KPMG-Google report released in May, the online higher education market is expected to touch $1.96 billion by 2021. Re-skilling and online certification courses currently account for a majority (38%) of the online higher education market, the report added. In India, a number of online skill training start-ups have shifted focus from a university-based curriculum to a more industry-oriented training approach for their courses.

In the school and entrance exams segment, Bengaluru-based Unacademy, which offers a platform for educators to share learning content, raised $11.5 million from Sequoia and others in September. Byju’s Learning also raised an undisclosed funding from China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd in July, with total fund raise reaching $200 million.

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