India/August 20, 2022/by: Manish Singh/Source: https://techcrunch.com/
Sunstone, a higher education startup that collaborates with academic institutions to help upskill their students for employability, has raised $35 million in a new financing round as it looks to expand to more Indian cities.
Sunstone founders said Friday WestBridge Capital led the startup’s Series C financing round. Alteria Capital also participated in the funding, which takes its to-date raise to about $68 million.
There are thousands of management colleges and institutions in India, but other than those at the top of the charts, most are unable to attract enough students. Their curriculums are also typically outdated and they struggle in getting their students jobs.
Founded in 2019, Sunstone is addressing these challenges by offering students a wide range of additional courses and helping them with securing jobs, its co-founder Piyush Nangru told TechCrunch in an interview.
“The colleges are operating at 40% occupancy. It’s equivalent to perishable inventory for them, because of which they are unable to amass resources and hence the quality of education suffers,” he said. “We partner with these institutions to offer upskilling and soft-skill courses as well as campus-life programs for students so that their quality of education improves.”
As part of the partnerships, institutes continue to offer hundreds of hours of “foundational” classes to students. “Take MBA, for example. It’s a 900 hours program, which covers key subjects like accounting, marketing and finance. The curriculum is outdated, so we plug our own 600 hours modules — half of which is focused on soft-skills, and rest on industry-ready skills — on top of this,” he explained.