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Centrum fund invests $3 million in edutech start-up Littlemore

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From: LiveMint By: Nihal Koshie Published at: February 13, 2018
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Mumbai: Littlemore Innovation Labs Pvt. Ltd, a Singapore-based education technology company, has raised Rs20 crore ($3 million) from Kalpavriksh, a private equity fund of Centrum Group, said a senior executive of the fund.
Littlemore Innovation Labs, founded in 2010 by Srikanth Ganesan, Tathagata Guha Roy and Anand Padmanabhan, provides digital and scalable solutions for conducting paperless descriptive exams online. The company plans to utilize the funds for further research and development and filing patents and copyrights in Singapore and to expand its presence in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The company also plans to tie up with private universities in India.
“Having recognised the unique challenges Indian universities face with written examinations, I scoured the world for a suitable device or a solution and realised there wasn’t any. We have engaged with the Kalpavriksh team for a while now, and what gives us great comfort is that we are aligned on how we want the company to grow, so we have a lot to benefit from this partnership,” said Ganesan, co-founder, Littlemore Innovation Labs.
The company has designed a writable tablet called DigiTaal and a cloud based software called PEXA that can be used to conduct paperless examinations.
Littlemore is the third investment by Kalpavriksh. In December, Kalpavriksh invested Rs20 crore in The Label Life, a premium online lifestyle brand, and Rs6 crore in HEAL Institute, a sports medicine and physiotherapy chain.
“We liked Littlemore’s strong R&D focus that has effectively combined the power of a custom-built hardware and a cloud based software to provide a comprehensive, economical and yet an eco-friendly solution, said Giri Krishnaswamy, chief investment officer of Kalpavriksh.
Kalpavriksh is Centrum’s maiden PE fund. The fund invests in high-growth unlisted companies in consumer, education, technology, healthcare and wellness sectors. The fund, launched in November 2016, is targeting to raise a corpus of Rs500 crore.
“While we continue to invest, we continue to raise money too. It’s a Rs300 crore fund with another green-shoe option of Rs200 crore. We are still in the process of raising money. We will eventually do 10-12 investments from the fund. Our average ticket size is around Rs20-25 crore. We are looking for at least five deals in the consumer segment,” said Krishnaswamy.
The Centrum Group has 125 branches spanning 48 cities and offers financial services to corporate and retail clients with its investment banking (equity and debt), wealth management, and institutional broking and foreign exchange services.

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