Skip to main content

Deal Alert: Gray Matters India receives equity funding from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Gray Matters India Pvt.Ltd (GMI), an organization that has been incubated and co-funded by Atlanta-based Gray Matters Capital(GMC), announced today an INR 45 million equity investment from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, a philanthropicorganization focused on improving the lives of impoverished children in the United States, South Africa and India. GMI focuses onimproving the quality of education in schools through assessments, and educational analytics, and their rating tool provides high quality and relevant learning level assessments by leveraging strong partnerships with organizations like ACER, the leading Australian assessment agency.

“We are excited about this support from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to help us increase the role of assessments and analytics in K12 education and to help improve educational quality by making data actionable to schools. The confidence shown by the Dell family foundation, which believes in measuring educational quality through outcomes, will further augment our efforts in this direction.” said Pradeep Sharma, Country Director of GMI. The company aspires to impact more than 5,000 schools, 2 million students and 100,000 teachers in the next 5 years.

“Assessments and school ratings are a big unmet need of schools that target low-income communities , and this is a great opportunity for GMI to create industry suitable assessments and a marketof quality conscious schools in this segment.”said Prachi Windlass, Lead, Education, at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. “GMI has a strong management teamwith a good mix of corporate, development and education backgrounds, and a deep commitment to creating sustainable social impact.” 

Since 2006, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation hasinvested more than $120 million in transforming the lives of children living in urban poverty in India. The foundation has been a strong proponent of rigorous learning level assessments in all its education programs, and also supports the implementation of the Indian government’s Continuous and Comprehensive evaluation policy in four states. This investment will complement the foundation’s broader role incatalyzing the learning assessment area in India by extending the coverage to include the growing and increasingly important affordable private school sector. 

“We are very excited to have the support of the Michael &Susan Dell foundation in improving the quality of affordable education in India,” said Calvin Clark, Finance manager at GMC. “With this support, GMI will be able to address more of the need for quality assessments in the affordable education sector.” This investment complementsGMC and GMC founder Bob Pattillo’sother education investments in India including Indian School Finance Company and Sudiksha Knowledge Solutions. GMC and its sister investment funds have made more thantwo dozen impact investments in India totaling over $30 million. 

About GMI

Gray Matters India(GMI) works towards improving education quality in schools through school assessments and analytics. GMI has worked with more than 600 schools in the past 3 years and has impacted more than 300,000 students and 15,000 teachers. GMI believes in the power of data driven decision making and aims at providing schools with actionable data analysis post assessments to help in school improvement. For more information, please visit 

About the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation ( is dedicated to improving the lives of children living in urban poverty around the world. With offices in Austin, TX and New Delhi, India, and Cape Town, South Africa, the Dell family foundation funds programs that foster high-quality public education and childhood health, and improve the economic stability of families living in poverty. The foundation has committed more than $1 billion to global children’s issues and community initiatives to date. 

About GMC

Gray Matters Capital (GMC) is a private operating foundation founded by Bob Pattillo. GMC actively invests in and co-creates initiatives with partners to build sustainable, replicable business models to benefit underserved populations. Our Vision: An education and a job for 100 million women by 2036. 

Venture Intelligence is the leading provider of data and analysis on Private Company Financials, Transactions (private equity, venture capital and M&A) & their Valuations in India. Click Here to view our products list including the Free Deal Digest Weekly: India's First & Most Exhaustive Transactions Newsletter.

Popular posts from this blog

VC Interview: Shailendra Singh of Sequoia Capital India

In a recent interview to Venture Intelligence, Shailendra Singh discussed some of the firm’s newer investments in the early stage segment including in the online payments space, the progress at a few existing portfolio companies and the active role the firm is playing in helping its portfolio companies scale and succeed in India and globally. Prior to joining the firm in 2006, Singh was a strategy consultant at Bain & Company in New York and before that, an entrepreneur in the digital media industry.

Venture Intelligence: How does Sequoia go about identifying potential early stage investments in India? Is there anything different you are doing today than, say, a couple of years back?

Shailendra Singh: There is a lot more focus on technology investing and early stage investing. In general, as you might remember a few years ago, we were doing primarily growth investing but in the past 18-odd months, we have had a very strong focus on early stage and that’s continuing. In terms of how…

PE Investments down by 36% in Q1'20

Press Release
Private Equity-Venture Capital (PE-VC) firms invested $5.9 Billion (across 164 deals) during the quarter ended March 2020 - 36% lower than the $9.2 Billion (across 249 transactions) during the same period last year, according to data from Venture Intelligence, a research service focused on private company financials, transactions and their valuations. The Q1'20 investments were also 37% lower compared to the immediate previous quarter (which had witnessed $9.4 Billion being invested across 227 transactions). (Note: These figures include Venture Capital investments, but exclude PE investments in Real Estate).
The latest quarter witnessed 14 PE-VC investments worth $100 million or more, down from the 20 such transactions in the same period last year. The largest PE-VC investment announced during Q1’20 was the $567 million takeover of power generation company RattanIndia Power by Goldman Sachs and Varde Partners. The second largest investment was SoftBank Vision Fund…

Ambit tops League Table for Transaction Advisors to Private Equity deals in 2019

Ambit Corporate Finance topped theVenture Intelligence League Table for Transaction Advisor to Private Equity Transactions for the year 2019. Ambit advised PE deals worth $2.4 Billion (across 4 qualifying transactions) during the period. Citi ($1.1 Billion across 2 deals) and Avendus ($969 million across 12 deals) took the second and third spot. Edelweiss Financial Services ($758 million across 9 deals) and PwC ($708 million across 15 deals) completed the top five in 2019. 

The Venture Intelligence League Tables, the first such initiative exclusively tracking transactions involving India-based companies, are based on value of PE and M&A transactions advised by Financial and Legal Advisory firms.
Ambit Corporate Finance advised the $1.9 Billion buyout of Pipeline Infrastructure from Reliance Industriesby Brookfield Asset Management and the IFC and I Squared Capital-backedCube Highways' acquisition of Delhi-Agra Toll Road from Reliance Infrastructure (Reliance ADAG). Citi advise…

PE investments in 2018 crosses $33-B to set new all-time high

Big Ticket investments in consumer apps Swiggy & Byju’s dominates year-end activity, even as investments in Core Sectors slow down
Private Equity (PE) investments in India rose to their highest ever figure of $33.1 billion in 2018 (across 720 transactions), according to data from Venture Intelligence (, a research service focused on private company financials, transactions and their valuations. While PE investments have already surpassed the previous high - $24.3 Billion across 734 deals in 2017 - in the first nine months of 2018, the mega investments in Consumer Internet & Mobile startups such as Swiggy and Byjus towards the year-end, helped the 2018 total vault by 36% year-on-year. (Note: These figures include Venture Capital investments, but exclude PE investments in Real Estate.) The year witnessed 81 PE investments worth $100 million or more (accounting for 77% of the total investment value during the period), compared to 47 such transac…

"Leveraged stock purchase led Arvind Rao to go astray": Forbes India

Forbes India has an article on the series of events leading to the recent controversial exit of Arvind Rao, Co-founder & CEO of listed Mobile VAS firm OnMobile.

On November 23, 2010, Arvind Rao, the 53-year-old co-founder and CEO of OnMobile, bought approximately 6 lakh shares of his company from the open market, representing a little over 1 percent of the company’s total shares....At Rs 277 a share, he had to pony up nearly Rs 16.5 crore to acquire them....So he went ahead and borrowed money to buy the shares, thinking nothing of the interest it entailed or the fact that he’d need to put up nearly half his existing shareholding as collateral...OnMobile’s shares continued to fall from those levels, while Rao’s interest payments ballooned.

...Motivated by OnMobile’s growth all these years, he had never paid much attention to his salary, most of which went towards the monthly rental on his sea-facing apartment in Mumbai and his BMW 7-Series, both paid directly by the company. He reque…