Vocational Edtech Company Vah Vah! Raises $1.85 Mn From Sequoia Capital India's Surge

The startup's mission is to educate and prepare India's young and dynamic population for their future careers, training them in vocational skills so that they can find employment or run their own business
Vocational Edtech Company Vah Vah! Raises $1.85 Mn From Sequoia Capital India's Surge
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Bengaluru-based online vocational education company Vah Vah! announced on Tuesday that it has raised $1.85 million in a Seed round from Sequoia Capital India’s Surge.

The startup’s mission is to educate and prepare India’s young and dynamic population for their future careers, training them in vocational skills so that they can find employment or run their own business. 

It is projected that by 2023, India will need over 70 million people in the skilled labor workforce, yet currently only has a training capacity for about 13 million students. College is not an option for about 20 million secondary school graduates each year, either due to their financial circumstances or school grades. As a result, this has created a huge gap between employment supply and demand for many industries crucial to the country’s growth, the establishment shared.

“We want to bring the best teachers to every corner of India, and raise the quality of education in overlooked sectors that have the potential to create the next 100 million jobs. The shortfall of vocational schools means that vocational training is often inaccessible or too costly for many – making it especially challenging for those who live outside of metropolitan areas looking to upskill themselves. With Vah Vah!, anyone with a mobile phone and an internet connection can now access quality vocational education,” said Shailesh Daxini, co-Founder, Vah Vah!. 

Started in October 2020 and headquartered in Bengaluru, Vah Vah!’s courses are designed for those looking to build a career or run their own entrepreneurial service business. 90 per cent of the startup’s cohorts are women, with an all-India representation. The startup currently offers professional courses in Makeup and Hair Styling, with plans to expand to other vocational skill sets.

“The beauty sector in India is expected to grow at 30 per cent CAGR, and workforce requirements have doubled according to the National Skill Development Council of India. The majority of our students enroll with the ambition to learn new skills to create earning opportunities for themselves in the industry, so there is a real need in the market from both employees and employers for such services,” Eashwar Subbiah , co-founder, Vah Vah!.

Vah Vah!’s courses are offered in small batches, and students are sent well-designed learning kits with all the material they need to complete the course. Students learn from experienced beauty industry professionals, who undergo further training before they teach at Vah Vah!. For example, the platform’s professional make-up artist course is a 22-day comprehensive training program across a variety of looks, such as fashion and bridal makeup, and includes career counseling and one-on-one Q&A time with trainers. With extensive experience in the consumer, gaming, and technology industry, the founders Akash Senapaty, Eashwar Subbiah, and Shailesh Daxini started this venture with a goal to skill people with job-specific vocational training as a pathway towards financial independence, the company further shared.

Vah Vah! is part of Surge’s fifth cohort of 23 companies that have developed new digital solutions to help companies and individuals work, live, and learn better in a rapidly evolving Southeast Asian landscape.

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