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November 25, 2013

Deal Alert: Education content firm InOpen raises funds from Japan’s Benesse Holdings

InOpen Technologies, an education content company incubated in Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), has raised a strategic investment in return for a small minority stake from Japanese education firm Benesse Holdings. Benesse has made this investment from the Benesse Social Investment Facility (BSIF), which invests in companies focused on solving social issues in education, child care and other related fields in emerging Asian countries and Japan. InOpen is the first investee of BSIF. InOpen and Benesse will collaborate to jointly develop products for the global education market, starting with the USA and Japan. Unitus Capital advised the company on this transaction. InOpen is also looking to attract an investment from a financial and/or impact investor. 

In August 2011, venture capital firm Ventureast had invested $500,000 in a seed round for a minority stake in InOpen. Co-founded by Rupesh Kumar Shah and Dr Sridhar Iyer in 2009, InOpen's flagship product is ‘Computer Masti,’ a computer science learning solution that has been implemented in over 200 schools and used by 5,00,000 students in India. It has recently introduced a Science curriculum, Small Science. InOpen achieved break-even in FY2012, and has seen three times growth from 2010-11. It has two revenue streams: schools and governments. In schools, it supplies content, teachers and system administrators. InOpen works with the governments of Assam and other states to teach government school students and junior employees. 

Benesse, which was established in 1955 as a publishing company, is now engaged in education, lifestyle, senior/nursing care and language/leadership training businesses in Japan and international markets. 

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