ImpactAlpha, April 11 – More than 300,000 private schools in India serve 80 million students, the majority of them poor. Many parents perceive these low-fee schools to be of higher quality than the country’s public schools, and enrollment is rising. But difficulties in finding financing “puts quality at risk,” according to the Omidyar Network.
Varthana, a Bangalore-based financial institution, provides loans to affordable private schools to build or rehabilitate facilities, purchase classroom resources and train teachers. The company works with schools to develop quality improvement plans and offers financial incentives to schools to achieve their improvement goals. Varthana says it supports more than 3,500 schools serving 2.5 million students.
- Impact investors… Omidyar Network, which has been an investor in Varthana since 2014, joined the company’s recent Series C funding, along with Elevar Equity, LGT Impact and Kaizen Private Equity.
- Commercial capital… Significantly, the round was led by ChrysCapital, an Indian private equity firm, signaling the availability of more capital for education financing.
“We are humbled that [ChrysCapital] are as convinced as we are about Varthana’s potential to have a significant, positive impact on the Indian education ecosystem,” Varthana’s founders said in a statement.