Sunstone, a higher education startup that partners with academic institutions to equip their students for employability, has raised $35 million in a new funding round as it looks to expand to more Indian cities.
Sunstone’s founders led the startup’s Series C financing round on Friday from Westbridge Capital. Altria Capital also participated in the funding, bringing the total raised to date to around $68 million.
There are thousands of management colleges and institutes in India, but except for the ones at the top of the charts, most of them fail to attract enough students. Their curricula are also outdated and they struggle to land jobs for their students.
In the year Founded in 2019, Sunstone is addressing these challenges by offering more courses to a wider range of students and helping them find jobs, co-founder Piyush Nangru told TechCrunch in an interview.
“The colleges are 40% residential. It is equivalent to perishable goods for them, as a result of which the quality of education is affected due to the inability to accumulate wealth. “In collaboration with these institutes, we offer advanced and soft skills courses as well as campus life programs to students to enhance their quality of education.”
As part of the partnership, the institutes continue to offer hundreds of hours of “foundational” classes to students. “Take the MBA for example. It’s a 900-hour program that covers key subjects like accounting, marketing and finance. The curriculum is out of date, so we plug in our own 600-hour modules – half focused on soft skills and half on industry-ready skills – on top of that.” He explained.
Headquartered in New Delhi, the startup’s value chain, which currently offers its services to undergraduate and postgraduate students in more than 40 institutions, is bringing the quality of education and career opportunities to all institutions equally. Who to cooperate with.
“India’s higher education system is on the cusp of a long-overdue transformation,” said Ashish Munjal, founder and CEO of Sunstone. “Sunstone is well-positioned to enable this change and impact the lives of millions of students. Although we have made significant progress in this direction in the past years, the market opportunities and problems we are trying to solve are very wide, so we still have a long way to go,” he said.
Having grown 10x in the last two years, Sunstone now focuses on management colleges. It has already started expanding into engineering and other technology verticals and the expansion is part of its plans to deploy its fresh funds, the founders said.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen Sunstone grow and continue to improve the quality of education it delivers to every student. Given its growing demand and potential to be a major disruptor, we’re excited to double our investment to support its mission to transform India’s higher education sector,” said Sandeep Singhal, Managing Partner, Westbridge Capital.