Bengaluru-based ed-tech startup Newton School has raised USD 650,000 in a seed round of funding led by early-stage venture capital firm Nexus Venture Partners. The funding round also saw the participation of Unacademy founders Gaurav Munjal, Roman Saini and Hemesh Singh, US-based startup platform AngelList, Srinivas Anumolu founder of Upwork, veteran educationists Ajay Gupta and Sahil Aggarwal and K.Ganesh founder of GrowthStory. Newton School will use the raised capital to strengthen its product and expand its team.
Newton School is an online edtech platform that trains people to be highly skilled software developers and get them placed in top companies and startups as frontend, backend and full-stack software developers among other roles. It has a 6 months long online training program with a unique pay after placement model under which the students are charged zero fees until they are placed with a minimum package of 6 LPA.
Founded in 2019 by serial entrepreneurs and college friends Nishant Chandra and Siddharth Maheshwari, Newton School aims to transform India into a global developer powerhouse through its highly personalised training platform. Nishant and Siddharth had a shared passion for education since their college days. After his MBA from IIM-C, Nishant let go of his lucrative job as a consultant to join Unacademy at an early stage.
“While software engineering is one of the highest paying and fastest-growing career paths, access to quality software development training remains limited to students of a few top colleges. With our unique pay after placement online platform we are democratising software development training and allowing people to cross financial and location barriers to achieve their dream of becoming a great software developer. Recently, Rohit – son of an auto driver who had lost his livelihood due to Corona – got placed in one of the top startups of India. He will now be able to take care of his family and pay off their loans. There are many students like him who have tripled or even quadrupled their salaries in just 6 months of studying on our platform”, commented Siddharth Maheshwari, Co-Founder, Newton School.
Pratik Poddar, Principal, Nexus Venture Partners, added, “We have known Nishant and Siddharth for some time and love their grit and passion for education. Nishant was known as an exceptional leader since his Unacademy days where he worked across content, pedagogy and operations. With their product and community first thinking, within the first few months of execution, Newton School is showing great results and creating meaningful impact in lives of software engineering graduates and making the hiring of great tech talent easier for companies. We look forward to the journey with Newton School where they are building an online academy and solving the deep problem of employability of graduates”.
Newton School receives thousands of applications for each batch but the extensive selection process means that the admission rate is less than 1%. The training program includes 1000+ hours of coding, 50+ hours of soft skills training, live projects, and personal mentorship from mentors working in top tech companies. These trained software developers are then available for the companies to hire, ready to join immediately.
While the placements at colleges halted due to the pandemic, Newton School’s first batch graduated recently with a 90% placement rate with alumni working in top companies like Unacademy, Rapido, Toppr etc. Newton School aims to have 10,000 students placed by 2021. The startup also hosts a monthly Newton’s coding challenges and free courses.
Nishant Chandra, Co-Founder, Newton School, commented, “Millions of students every year go to engineering colleges with outdated curriculums which teach coding using pen and paper and have little relevance to industry requirements. This results in a meagre 3% employability for new-age jobs even after spending lakhs of rupees. Newton School has developed a cutting edge curriculum and interactive products that allow students to practice coding and get instant feedback, build live industry-oriented projects and get it reviewed by top software developers, making them ready for high paying jobs.”
With a highly capital-efficient business model, NS is close to breakeven just after a few months of operations and is on the path to become profitable in the next couple of months. “We already have 500 students studying on the platform in parallel and we plan to scale it to 10000 within next year thus having larger intake than all IITs combined”, claimed Nishant
The coming months will see Newton School deploy this funding round to further evolve its platform and increase its user capacity to handle thousands of simultaneous learners. The company will also prioritise the development of products utilising Artificial Intelligence (AI) to streamline and personalise the learning journey of each student.