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Former Unacademy COO raises $11mn in seed funding for new edtech venture

Vivek Sinha, ex-chief operating officer of Unacademy, unveiled a new venture, Beyond Odds Technologies. The startup secured $11 million in seed funding, comprising both equity and debt.

Based in Bengaluru, the startup focuses on employability-driven training, certification, and recruitment services for the grey-collar workforce. It connects employers seeking talent with students looking for opportunities.

Sinha said that the venture would introduce Emversity, a higher education brand, launching its first centre in Bengaluru on April 20. Following this, six more centers will open in Hyderabad, Delhi, Nagpur, Kochi, and Ranchi by June. These centers will offer bachelor’s degree programs like nursing and certification courses in collaboration with universities.

The funding was led by Matrix Partners India and Lightspeed India, with contributions from InnoVen Capital, Alteria Capital, and notable individuals including Ritesh Agarwal of Oyo, Gaurav Munjal of Unacademy, Mayank Kumar of Upgrad, Ramakant Sharma of Livspace, and Sumer Juneja of SoftBank, among others.

Sinha highlighted the company’s goal of addressing the shortage of skilled labor in sectors like healthcare, education, hospitality, and construction. Their platform will train candidates through programs, including partnerships with industry leaders like the Cloudnine group of hospitals.

In the upcoming academic cycle, Emversity will provide undergraduate programs in emergency and trauma care technology, anesthesia and operation theatre technology, medical laboratory technology, hospital administration, and certification programs in phlebotomy, nursing assistant, and dialysis technology.

For its first batch, Emversity has partnered with healthcare institutions like Fortis Hospitals and Core Diagnostics, where students will intern during their studies.

“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.

During the current academic year, Beyond Odds will concentrate solely on the healthcare sector.

“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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