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IDGVI News: Press Releases 2011

IDG Ventures India and Norwest Venture Partners invest Rs 22 Crores Series A Round in iProf e-learning market place

19.04.2011

Tablet Based e-Learning Marketplace Company Enables Anytime-Anywhere-Any Pace Top Quality Interactive Education for targeted 25 Million Indian Students; iProf Ties Up with IGNOU, World’s Largest Distance Learning University with 3.2 Million Students

Delhi, April 19th, 2011: iProf Learning Solutions India Pvt. Ltd, an innovative e-learning marketplace company offering India’s first personal education tablet and chain of WiFi-enabled e-learning centers across the nation, today announced it has secured Rs. 22 Crores in Series A funding from Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) and IDG Ventures India (IDGVI). The capital will be used to fuel aggressive expansion of iProf’s e-learning centers (iProf iStudy Zones) in metros and tier 2/3 cities throughout India and abroad, as well as bring a large number of new iProf products to market by continued partnerships with India’s best professors, subject matter experts and organizations. Also as a part of today’s announcement, Mr. Mohan Kumar, Executive Director, NVP India, and Mr. Sudhir Sethi, Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, IDGVI join iProf’s Board of Directors.

Sanjay Purohit, Founder & CEO, iProf, said, “India’s test preparation market is expected to reach USD 1 billion in three years. However, primary growth restraints to date have been the lack of strong teachers, the limited reach of classroom programs into tier two and tier three cities and the high price of classroom coaching for IIT/MBA courses. To meet the needs of this growing market in India, iProf has created an innovative e-learning marketplace by which a large number of courses can be provided in extremely engaging and interactive formats at an affordable price to millions of students worldwide. This is available to even those students who don’t have computer or internet access.”

iProf offers India’s first personal education tablet which is highly affordable and delivers study material in multiple formats such as audio-video lectures, animations, structured tests, solutions, performance analysis and a lot more. Students will be able to download various education contents in minutes from retail hotspots called iStudy Zones. Presently nearly 20 iStudy Zones are operational and will reach 100 by the end of 2011. These centers are being opened both on a company owned and franchisee basis. Students will participate in interactive video conference-based doubt clearing sessions at iStudy Zones, conducted by India’s renowned teachers. This iProf solution gives complete flexibility to students to study at their pace, anywhere and at anytime. Content development has been done by partnering with most eminent professors and education institutes.

Sanjay Purohit continued, “We are extremely passionate about the sector we serve, and with this funding, we will be able to accelerate the execution of our vision of taking e-learning methods to the depths of India and abroad at an affordable price. We were drawn to NVP and IDG Ventures India because they are leading global investment firms with deep domain knowledge and a track record for building successful companies. Both firms’ powerful networks of relationships in India and abroad will be extremely beneficial for iProf as we grow our business and continue to expand our offerings and centers to additional markets.”

iProf also announced today that it has tied up with IGNOU, the World’s largest Open University with an enrollment of more than 3.2 million students. IGNOU offers diploma and degree programs in more than 350 areas, with 3500 course materials that extend from a six month to three year duration. IGNOU has approximately 1400 study zones across India and has partnered with iProf to conduct diploma programs for 75 of its courses on the iProf platform.

Sudhir Sethi, Founder CMD, IDG Ventures India commented, “Students, particularly in tier two and tier three cities in India, are looking at alternatives to gain convenient access to quality test preparation materials and Distance Learning courses. At the same time, traditional content and classroom instruction providers are seeking strong technology partners with innovative content distribution platforms. iProf addresses the education infrastructure challenges that prevent quality education from reaching the targeted 25 million student population in India. We are pleased to invest in an e-learning pioneer such as iProf, and we believe the company can revolutionize the delivery of education in India.”

Mohan Kumar, Executive Director, NVP India, commented, “The Indian education system is one of the largest contributors to the economic growth of the nation---an estimated USD 50 billion market, with a potential 16% five-year CAGR. iProf is serving a key need in India because the company brings high quality e-learning education to millions of students who are currently deprived and in urgent need of this form of learning. The tremendous market acceptance of iProf’s cost effective and easy-to-use marketplace combined with the company’s highly experienced management team and proven competency in bringing new technology products to market were the key reasons why we invested in iProf. NVP is excited about the impact that iProf can make on the future of education in India, and we look forward to working with the company and supporting the team as it innovates and expands its presence in this rapidly growing market.”

According to Prof. Pandav Nayak, Pro-VC IGNOU announcing the tie-up with iProf noted, “Of late, and especially under the leadership of Prof. VNR Pillai, the Vice Chancellor has made giant strides in the direction of taking skilled education to the remote/rural areas of the India, which is at the forefront of IGNOU’s objectives. In this endeavor, India’s largest open university has promoted Public Private Partnership initiatives of which iProf will play an important role. I take this opportunity to wish the team the very best.”

About iProf:

iProf has created an innovative e-learning marketplace by which a large number of courses can be provided at an affordable price to millions of students worldwide. The solution is particularly valuable to those students who don’t have computer or internet access. Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Delhi- NCR region, iProf offers India’s first personal education tablet which delivers study material in multiple formats such as audio video lectures, animations, structured tests, solutions, performance analysis and more. iProf also operates iStudy Zones, study centers across India, where students can purchase tablets, download the latest course material and obtain course updates. iProf’s ground breaking solution enables centers to deliver e-learning courses via video and audio from esteemed faculty in India within the safety of students’ homes or in nearby iStudy Zones. iProf is venture backed by blue chip investment firms IDG Ventures India and Norwest Venture Partners. For more information visit www.iprofindia.com

About IDG Ventures India:

IDG Ventures India is a US$150 Million early-stage venture capital fund investing in technology-related product and services companies. The fund is part of IDG Ventures, a global network of technology venture funds with over $3.7 billion under management, over 220 investee companies and 10 offices across Asia and North America. IDG Ventures makes investments on behalf of its Limited Partners, including its principal investor and sponsor, International Data Group (IDG), the world's largest IT media company. By combining the IDG platform - an unparalleled combination of global publishing, market research (IDC), and conferences and exhibition resources - with years of hands-on experience in early-stage company building, IDG Ventures helps its investee companies understand their markets better and penetrate them faster than their competition.

Leading technology companies that IDG Ventures has invested in include BabyCenter, F5 Networks, Netscape, Service Metrics and VA Linux in North America and Baidu, Ctrip, Sohu, Tencent and VinaGame in Asia. Our India portfolio consists of 3D Solid Compression, Apalya, Aujas Networks, ConnectM, iCreate, iProf, iViZ, Kreeda, Manthan Systems, Myntra, Ozone Media and Perfint.

For more information, please visit www.idgvcindia.com

About Norwest Venture Partners (NVP)

Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) is a global venture and growth equity investment firm that manages more than USD 3.7 billion in capital. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, NVP has subsidiaries in Mumbai and Bengaluru, India and Herzelia, Israel. NVP makes early to late stage venture and growth equity investments in U.S. and global companies across a wide range of sectors including: information technology, business services, financial services, infrastructure, technology enabled services and consumer. NVP has actively partnered with entrepreneurs to build great businesses for more than 50years and has funded nearly 500companies since inception.

Current and notable NVP investments in India, China and the U.S. include AdChina, Admeld, Airespace (acquired by Cisco Systems), Asian Genco Pte Ltd (AGPL), Borqs, BranchOut, Brand.net, Brocade, Cast Iron Systems (acquired by IBM), Cerent (acquired by Cisco Systems), Corio (acquired by IBM), Documentum (acquired by EMC), Extreme Networks, Forte Software (acquired by Sun Microsystems), Jigsaw (acquired by Salesforce.com), Kace (acquired by Dell), Kayak, Komli Media, Lashou, LifeSize Communications (acquired by Logitech), ngmoco (acquired by DeNA), NSE (National Stock Exchange of India), Omneon (acquired by Harmonic), Open-Silicon (acquired by Unicorn Investment Bank), PCH International, PeopleSoft (acquired by Oracle), Persistent Systems (NSE: PERSISTEN.NS), Playdom (acquired by TheWalt Disney Company), Polycom, Quikr, Rackspace (NYSE:RAX), Ratnakar Bank, Sadbhav Infrastructure Project Ltd (SIPL), Shriram City Union Finance, Siara Systems (acquired by Redback Networks), SideStep (acquired by Kayak), Spinnaker Networks (acquired by Network Appliance), SPSS (acquired by IBM), Sulekha, Tivoli Systems (acquired by IBM), Verio (acquired by NTT), Winphoria Networks (acquired by Motorola), Yatra.com and Yipes (acquired by Reliance/Flag Telecom). For more information, please visit www.nvp.com.

All brands, names, or trademarks mentioned in this document are the property of their respective owners.

For iProf Media inquiries:

iProf India Ltd.
Mohit Soni
Vice President-Operations
Ph - +91 9971120204

For NVP inquiries:
Katie Belding
Norwest Venture Partners (NVP)
Tel: +1 650-321-8000
E: kbelding@nvp.com

Regi Philip
Norwest Venture Partners (NVP)
Tel: +44 794 723 3996
E: regi.philip@nvp.com