Mumbai: India’s first career-focused alternative education startup, Masai School, has raised USD 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.
Founded with the ideology that “institutes should be equal stakeholders in student outcomes”, Masai School began operations in June 2019. Headquartered in Bengaluru, Masai leverages the Income Share Agreement (ISA) model to create an outcome-oriented learning approach.
Speaking on the announcement, Prateek Shukla, CEO and Co-Founder, Masai School said, “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. Which 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 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% of those came from a non-CS background.”
With the latest funding, Masai School will now launch new programs in 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 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.
Prateek further added, “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.”
“In today’s competitive job market, Masai School is unlocking opportunities for employment for young aspirants especially from the next half billion segment 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’re excited to partner with Masai School early in this journey that we believe can help define how skilling and learning for employment happens in India.” said Siddharth Nautiyal, Partner, Omidyar Network India.
The funding will be used to:
● Hire industry experts to build and impart curriculum across new disciplines such as UI, UX, Product Management, Data Analytics
● Strengthen the existing offerings in various ways such as
o Onboard more faculty to serve a larger no of students
o Offer the living allowance program – under which top performing students are given 15,000 INR per month for the duration of the program – to many more deserving students
● Provide world class digital infrastructure to the learners
● Launch various support and feeder programs, free of cost, to enable equality of opportunity to all aspiring professionals