"EDITION 194"

Published: 11/11/2020

Good morning, it's Wednesday and America celebrates Veterans Day today so most of the country has the day off. On to the news today, we're not done with EdTech rounds just yet and a logistics startup raises a large growth round.

  • https://bit.ly/3na2w5K: Uolo raises $2.7M in a Pre-Series A round
  • ➡️ The Indian EdTech train keeps going, we now have a fairly old Uolo (founded in 2014) raising a $2.7M Pre-Series A from Blume Ventures & Omidyar Network. When I first started looking into the company, it reminded me a lot of Classplus so I can see why both Blume and Omidyar also lead this round.

    ➡️ Uolo is a platform that brings together teachers, students and their parents online through their mobile app and web platform. I think the easiest way to explain the company is that they are building a verticalized SaaS solution solely for private schools in India- schools & teachers can manage their systems (fees, attendance, grades); communicate with their students & parents through a messaging platform (doubts, assignments, virtual PTMs) and teach lessons online as well.

    ➡️ In the day of remote learning and quarantine, a school could quite likely go online completely with the help of Uolo. And so it comes to no surprise that they already have onboarded 2000 schools and over 1M students.

    ➡️ It's interesting that the company has been able to sell to such a large school base this quickly, I don't think a company building a similar solution would be able to grow as quickly in the US (though that might have something to do with selling to local/state school boards in the US vs individual private schools in India)

    ➡️The company aims to use the capital to grow 10x to 200k schools and 10M students (wow!) in the next two years. I can see how COVID is accelerating the need for Uolo, but I think it will probably continued to be used once things return to normalcy. While the teaching part will return to the in-person methods, it makes sense that the digitization of the school's stack will remain (fee collection, communication, attendance & grading and more)

    2. https://bit.ly/2JP4aeE: XpressBees raises $110 Mn in Series E round

    ➡️ Logistics giant XpressBees has announced that it is raising a $110M Series E from the likes of Investcorp, Northwest Venture Partners, and Gaja Capital. The new investors have acquired roughly a third of the company (31%), so the company is valued well north of $300M.

    ➡️ The company was initially the logistics arm of the eCommerce company FirstCry but was spun out as its own company in 2015. The logistics space seems to be super competitive with other well funded players including Delhivery, Ecom Express, Shadowfax.

    ➡️ The company also has several huge customers including Snapdeal, Paytm, FirstCry, Meesho, Netmeds and Lenskart. And with the boom of online shopping in 2020, it probably makes sense that these logistics companies are also scaling up and growing quite quickly.

    ➡️ The company currently offers first & last mile delivery, reverse logistics as well as real time tracking and multiple payment collection and processing options. And it has been reported that the company might expand into express cargo and cross border logistics.

    ➡️ The new capital will go towards automating the company's hub & sort centers and to expand their delivery footprint to cover the entire country. And as retail in India continues to move online, I can see how these logistics giant keep growing as shipping things in a country like India is very complicated.

    Feedback & ❤️ always appreciated BONUS (Tweet of the day): https://twitter.com/Harveen_A/status/1326141724956094465

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