Digital payments and e-commerce platform Paytm has acqui-hired education technology start-up Edukart, a marketplace offering courses to students. The startup which was backed by cricketer Yuvraj Singh and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma was acquired after it failed to raise new funds.
The company’s founder Ishan Gupta has joined as VP of Business in Paytm and will look after the seller ecosystem, and the 50-member EduKart team is expected to join Paytm very soon.
“My whole team has joined Paytm in various roles. Their (Paytm) commerce vertical is expanding and has become a key business. I will be looking after the seller ecosystem for the company’s commerce platform. Having worked with One 97 in the past the transition is expected to be quite smooth,” Gupta said.
Founded in 2011 by Ishan Gupta and Mayank Gupta (not related), EduKart is run by Delhi-based Earth Education Valley Pvt. Ltd. Ishan had earlier worked with companies such as One97 Mobility Fund, Facebook, Helion Venture Partners, Quantum Hi-Tech and Appin Knowledge Solutions. Mayank quit the firm in December 2014 and now works with an online electronics marketplace Zopper.
Edukart aggregated courses offered by other education technology start-ups such as Byju’s, Simplilearn, Edureka and Toppr, coaching institutes such as Aakash Institute, Vidyamandir Classes and Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University, Annamalai University, National Institute of Management and Technology and University of Mysore, among others.
At the time of its last fund raising in June 2015, chief executive Ishan Gupta had said in an interview that the firm was targeting sales of over $100 million for its course providers, and planned to enroll more than 100,000 students annually.
Ed-tech startups have attracted significant interest from investors. Bjyu’s recently raised $50 million in a round co-led by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation, barely six months after it raised $75 million from Sequoia India and Belgian investment firm Sofina.