Online education portal Pagalguy.com looks to expand its presence in South India by setting up sales offices in Bangaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad. It is also looking to set up another office in Gurgaon, said CEO Allwin Agnel.
The company is in the process of raising $15-20 million and in discussions with private equity (PE) funds and venture capital firms.
Agnel said that the fund will be used primarily for recruiting around 250 experts-including interface specialists, behavioral scientists and learning experts-in a year. In addition, the proceeds will help build infrastructure and enhance marketing. The technology will be upgraded to provide large-scale online courses. Agnel targets to strengthen the portal's mobile teaching solution.
"We plan to dilute a minority stake this time. If required, we will go for a second round of fund raising," Agnel said.
The portal is profitable since its inception as a company in 2006, he added. Altfort Capital is the banker for the fund raising. Agnel is a Wharton Alumnus, while the head of technology, Sandeep Kalidindi, is from MIT, Berkeley.
Pagalguy.com, which has over 800,000 registered users, had 120 million page views in 2014 and is estimated to cross 200 million in this year. In the last two months, about 15,000 short courses have been taken by aspiring students.
According to a report by KPMG, the education sector in India has been an area of global interest. India, one of the largest education markets, has 230 million students enrolled, growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 13.67 per cent.
The country has 690 universities, which include over 35,500 affiliated colleges. Unitus Seed Fund, an India-focused venture capital fund, has invested in four education firms --- Hippocampus Learning Centres, iSTAR, Curiositi and Cue Learn.
Bangalore-based Simplilearn.com, an online education and training portal for professional certification courses, has secured $15 million (Rs 92 crore) from Mayfield Fund, Kalaari Capital and Helion Venture Partners.
Simplilearn had earlier raised $12 million.