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Edtech Startup Masai School Raises $5 Mn In Series A Funding Round Led By Omidyar Network India The startup is on track to graduate more than 2,000 students in FY2021-22

By Prabhjeet Bhatla

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Bengaluru-based career-focused alternative education startup Masai School on Friday announced to have raised $ 5 million in the Series A funding round led by Omidyar Network India joined by existing investors Unitus Ventures, India Quotient, and AngelList India.

This new round of funding comes less than a year after Masai School raised its Pre-Series A round in August 2020, led by Unitus Ventures.

With the latest funding, Masai School will now launch new programs in the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) designing, product management (PM), and data analytics; in addition to strengthening the existing offerings of full-stack web and Android development. The vision at the school is to be able to help young professionals launch their careers in a field of their choice irrespective of what background they come from, the establishment shared.

"Year after year, India produces lakhs of graduates of which a very small percentage are actually employable. On the other hand, the burgeoning industry struggles to find relevant entry-level talent. This clearly implies that the root of the problem lies in the existing education system. With this understanding, we are building Masai with a clear focus – enable the youth to launch careers in a field of their choice. Why should they go to a college or university that puts them in debt; only to follow that up with finishing schools or expensive certifications – as a supplement, in the hopes of finding a job? To provide equal opportunity, we at Masai School, don't ask for any degree and neither do we filter by a stream of secondary education. We are in fact proud to have helped more than 200 students launch their full-time careers in the technology industry while more than 50 per cent of those came from a non-CS background," remarked Prateek Shukla, chief executive officer, and co-founder, Masai School.

Founded with the ideology that institutes should be equal stakeholders in student outcomes, Masai School began operations in June 2019. Bengaluru-headquartered Masai leverages the Income Share Agreement (ISA) model to create an outcome-oriented learning approach.

"This round of funding comes at a time when we as a company are evolving and progressing to the next level. We are excited to have Omidyar Network India as a partner on this journey, their keen understanding of the state of education at a global level will bring immense value; which is likely to help us grow in a very mature manner. The funding will primarily be used to expand our curriculum and contribute to the transitioning of our business model from being a coding-centric to a career-focused institute. With that said, we are on track to graduate more than 2000 learners in FY 2020-21," added Shukla.

The startup adds that it is also an opportunity to hire leading industry experts and teaching practitioners to help augment this vision and establish itself as an overall career-launching institution.

"In today's competitive job market, Masai School is unlocking opportunities for employment for young aspirants, especially from the next half billion segments by addressing key skill gaps. Their curriculum expansion will only open up more doors for their learners. Further, their commitment to outcomes is clear in their ISA model which reduces the burden on young professionals and focuses on helping them really launch their career unhindered. We are excited to partner with Masai School early in this journey that we believe can help define how skilling and learning for employment happen in India," commented Siddharth Nautiyal, partner, Omidyar Network India.

Till date, Masai School has graduated more than 200 students across 8 batches, with a placement rate of 91 per cent at an average CTC of INR 6.75 LPA and its hiring partners include Samsung, Sharechat, Urban Company, Instamojo, Airmeet, GlobalLogic, Lendingkart, MPL, Nobroker and Paytm.

Prabhjeet Bhatla

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