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Vedantu, a Bangalore-based startup that operates a learning app aimed at students aged between 12 to 18, has secured an additional $24 million as part of its Series C financing round. With the infusion of cash, Vedantu looks to serve more students and make its brand a household name. The fresh infusion to its Series C, which Vedantu first unveiled in August last year, was led by global VC firm GGV Capital. Some existing investors also participated in the round. The $24 million extension broadens the five-year-old startup’s Series C round to $66 million and its total raise to date to $82 million. Vedantu offers live and interactive courses for students in grades 6 though 12. Students who have enrolled for the interactive sessions are required to answer questions every few minutes by tapping on their smartphone screen or on the desktop. They also can raise their doubts at the end of the session. Some of these sessions are free for students, but a selection of it requires a subscription, Vamsi Krishna, co-founder and CEO of the startup, told TechCrunch in an interview. The app has amassed over 75,000 paying subscribers, a figure that Krishna expects to surpass 100,000 this year. The cost of these subscriptions can vary from Rs 100 ($1.4) for students looking for sessions around a particular topic, to Rs 50,000 ($700) for long-term courses that focus on training students for undergraduate-level courses. More than 25 million users come to Vedantu’s app or website each month to consume free lessons. In recent years, a wave of tech startups including Byju’s, which was valued at $8 billion in its most recent fund raise last week, have emerged to tackle these challenges as low-cost Android handsets flood the Indian market and mobile data prices become incredibly affordable. Vedantu allows students to interact with their teachers through the microphone and camera on their smartphone or desktop and also through a chat box on the app. These teachers also have assistants who work with students. Since it’s a virtual class, Vedantu is also able to accommodate more students in a session. A paid session may have as many as 600 students while the free lessons could have 2,000, said Krishna, who is a teacher himself. Until early 2014, he also ran Lakshya Institute, which helped students prepare for undergraduate-level courses, before selling a majority stake to Mumbai-based K-12 tutoring and test preparation firm MT Educare. Courtesy : Manish Singh, Tech Crunch

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