Learning assessment company gets venture capital funding

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Mumbai: Ahmedabad based learning assessment company, Educational Initiatives, has received an undisclosed amount of first round funding from Footprint Ventures, IFMR Trust and Maryland, U.S. headquartered Novak Biddle Venture Partners. Ballarpur Industries chairman Gautam Thapar has also invested in this company in his personal capacity, reported Livemint. Josh Bornstein, Executive Director, Footprint Ventures, who will take a board seat with the company did not reveal the amount invested, but said it was an early-stage deal. The firm typically invests $1-5 million (Rs4-20 crore) in a company. For investor Novak Biddle, this is the first direct investment in India. The IFMR Trust invests in commercial opportunities to leverage the competitive strengths of low-income households in India with an emphasis on those that are living in remote rural locations of the country. Education is emerging as a key investment sector for venture capitalists in the country. In the last six months, several companies in this space, such as Bangalore-based TutorVista Education India Mumbai-based Hurix Systems and 24x7 Learning Solutions, have together received funding of more than $12 million. The six-year-old company offers students assessment exams to judge their learning skills rather than rote knowledge of the subscribed syllabus, such as logical reasoning and ability to think independently. "We want to help private and public schools understand student learning better, in a non-threatening and objective way," says Sridhar Rajagopalan, Managing Director, Educational Initiatives.