Paytm buys Edukart, absorbs its founder as vice-president
BENGALURU: Payment services provider Paytm has ‘acquihired’ education technology start-up Edukart, backed by cricketer Yuvraj Singh and Paytm founder Vijay Shekhar Sharma, after the startup failed to raise new funds, people aware of the development have said.
Ishan Gupta, founder and chief executive of Earth Education Valley, which runs Edukart, has joined Paytm as vice-president of business, while the 50-odd employees of Edukart will handle seller services, the people cited above said.
Acquihiring is buying out a company primarily for the skills and expertise of its staff.
“While the team has been absorbed into Paytm, investors are also looking for a buyer for Edukart’s business. Finding a buyer is difficult in the current scenario, where very few ed-tech start-ups barring the likes of Simplilearn or Byju’s have managed to scale up,” said one of the three people cited above. Paytm confirmed the development.
Edukart was founded in 2011 by Ishan Gupta, a management graduate from Stanford University, and Mayank Gupta, an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode. It was a marketplace that aggregated courses ranging from K-12 to diploma, besides coaching for entrance examinations.
Mayank Gupta quit the firm in December 2014 and joined online electronics marketplace Zopper.
The company Edukart had raised $2 million (₹13.5 crore) in three rounds. At the time of its last fundraising in June 2015, chief executive Gupta had said in an interview that the firm was targeting sales of over $100 million for its course providers, and planned to enrol more than 100,000 students annually.
Before founding Edukart, Gupta worked with One97 Communications, Paytm’s parent company, between October 2009 and March 2011.