Pune-based exam preparation platform Pariksha raised Rs 4 crore in a Pre-Series A round led by incubator and accelerator platform Venture Catalysts (VCats). VCats’s investors who participated in the round included Sunil Kumar Singhvi of South Handlooms, Jayant Mehrotra of Lodha Group, Nirav Panchmatia of Aum Financial Advisors, Aditya Khurana of The Little Company Day Care Solutions, among others.
Karanvir Singh, Co-Founder of Pariksha, said that this investment will help the company to strengthen its product offerings, bolster back-end operations and expand its reach all over India.
In a statement, the startup said that Pariksha serves ‘Bharat’, where 13.6 crore candidatesapply for government jobs annually. Out of them, 7.5 crore apply for state government jobs, writing the exams in vernacular languages. These candidates do not have access to laptops or desktops at home or in school in order to be able to practice for a CBT (Computer based test).
Apoorv Ranjan Sharma, Co-founder and President, Venture Catalysts, said,
“Pariksha’s team has a clear vision and a massive target audience spanning not only Tier-II, III cities and rural regions, but also a certain student demographic in urban centres. It is a one-stop preparatory platform for a vast number of examinations, and has an easy-to-engage interface that offers greater convenience to candidates.”
Pariksha is an online vernacular online test preparation platform helping candidates to prepare for various government examinations, which are slowly transitioning online.
The languages available on the platform include Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Bengali & English. Pariksha has a subscription-based mobile application where user can pay online and start practicing. The startup has also rolled out a physical prepaid subscription card Safalta to enable offline transaction in the rural cash economy for candidates who are not comfortable making online transactions available at retail outlets across the state.
The Pune-based startup currently operates across six states in the country and boasts of 25,000 paid subscribers on the platform.
During the last 12 months, Venture Catalysts has established operations in Tier-II and III cities of Kanpur, Dehradun, Siliguri, Jaipur, Indore, Chennai, Lucknow, Trivandrum, Kolkata, Surat, Ranchi etc. It has established dedicated sector-specific accelerator programmes, and has closed 59 deals in the year 2018 alone, cumulatively investing Rs 308 crore for its portfolio companies.