Former Unacademy COO raises $11 million from Matrix, Lightspeed for new edtech venture

Former Unacademy chief operating officer Vivek Sinha on Wednesday announced the launch of a new venture, Beyond Odds Technologies, with a seed funding of $11 million in a mix of equity and debt.

The Bengaluru-based startup is building for employability-led training, certification, and recruitment services in the grey-collar workforce segment. The platform connects employers on the demand side to its talent supply base among students.

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The venture is set to launch Emversity, a higher education brand with a centre in Bengaluru on April 20, Sinha told ET. The launch will be followed by six others by June in Hyderabad, Delhi, Nagpur, Kochi and Ranchi. These centres will also facilitate bachelor’s degree programmes such as nursing as well as certification courses in partnership with universities.

The funding round was led by Matrix Partners India and Lightspeed India. The other investors include InnoVen Capital, Alteria Capital, Oyo founder Ritesh Agarwal, Unacademy founder Gaurav Munjal, Upgrad founder Mayank Kumar, Livspace founder Ramakant Sharma and SoftBank partner Sumer Juneja, among others.

Sinha said the company aims to solve the shortage of skilled labour in sectors such as healthcare, education, hospitality and construction. Its platform will train candidates through programmes that include training with industry partners such as the Cloudnine group of hospitals.

In the current academic cycle, Emversity will offer undergraduate programmes under emergency and trauma care technology, anaesthesia and operation theatre technology, medical laboratory technology, hospital administration and certification programmes in phlebotomy, nursing assistant and dialysis technology.

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For its first batch, Emversity has tied up with healthcare institutions such as Fortis Hospitals and Core Diagnostics, where students will also intern during the course.“Our courses also come with ‘built-in income’, so candidates do not have to wait for completion of their formal higher education to earn their first pay cheque. Other features of these courses include ‘work abroad integrated’ modules, and extensive placement assistance,” Sinha added.

For the current academic year, Beyond Odds will only focus on the healthcare industry.

“Emversity is dedicated to preparing India’s youth for the workforce and fostering the growth of sunrise industries through scalable skilled manpower. With our long-standing acquaintance with Vivek, we commend his grasp of the issue and capacity to establish pioneering institutions,” Rajat Agarwal, managing director at Matrix Partners India, said.


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