Indonesian education tech startup Ruangguru announced today that it has raised a seven-digit series A funding round. The round was led by Venturra Capital, a venture capital fund investing in companies in Indonesia and Southeast Asia. East Ventures, which led the startup’s seed round in 2014, participated as well.
As in the seed round, the series A funding amount is undisclosed. Ruangguru also did not disclose if it has immediate access to the funding and if it will be used solely for company growth.
“We have experienced running the company and selling the product and services both in bootstrapping and seed investment stage – and we have built the company to be where it is now within these limited circumstances. We believe that it is the time for us to scale,” Ruangguru CEO and co-founder Iman Usman tells Tech in Asia. He adds that the startup has been encouraged by the significant growth of other tech companies this year, and believes that this forward momentum will continue into the next.
Iman says Venturra managing partner John Riady has been a friend of his for some years and both of them are part of the of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers. However, Ruangguru was introduced to Venturra through “mutual friends.” In a separate statement, Iman explains that Venturra’s affiliation with Indonesia’s powerful Lippo Group is “beneficial as we are already planning strategic partnerships with their big-name businesses, including Pelita Harapan Education Chain, Berita Satu Media Group, and many others, to significantly scale up our reach nationally.”
With the funding, Iman says the company is looking for talent across several roles, especially in technical, business development, education development, and digital marketing. Additionally, the team will be launching a new product at some point early next year, as well as looking to expand geographically, although Iman would not share more details than that.
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Ruangguru launched in April 2014 as an online platform connecting tutors to students. Lessons offered include school subjects, music, sports, foreign languages, and more. Ruangguru boasts high-quality tutors, picking them among top university students and experienced teachers. It currently has over 23,000 registered tutors. Ruangguru would not comment on number of customers, however.
In 2015 the startup debuted an online test preparation tool called tes.ruangguru.com. On it, students can find test questions that fit Indonesia’s educational curriculum, as well as data analytics features that can help them keep track of their progress and performance when preparing for a given test. The program was recently pilot tested by the Department of Education of Jakarta to prepare teachers for the National Teachers’ Competency Exam (UKG). In a further win for the startup, the Faculty of Medicine of University of Indonesia also decided to use tes.ruangguru.com for its online tryouts for university entrance exams in the country.
Ruangguru also just launched a tutor development program called Guru Hebat, which it’s currently rolling out in the Greater Jakarta area. The idea is for the startup to maintain high standards among its tutors and support them through in-person and online training and study materials. At the moment, Guru Hebat covers the subjects of English and math, Iman explains.
“We see [Ruangguru co-founder Adamas] Belva and Iman as strong and dedicated founders who are passionate about making significant impact to the education sector in Indonesia, and with their leadership, we believe that Ruangguru has the potential to dominate the online education space in Indonesia,” says Rudy Ramawy, managing partner of Venturra Capital, in a statement.
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