Dainik Bhaskar has picked up a minority stake of 2.7% in BSE and NSE listed e-learning company EdServ following an investment of Rs 15 crore, through the issue of fully convertible equity warrants, informed the company in a filing with the BSE. In an interview to VC Circle, EdServ Chairman & CEO, S. Giridharan said that the stake sale which is essentially an advertising deal lasting three years, will allow the company to expand to other parts of the country, specially in Northern and Western India, where Dainik Bhaskar has good circulation, as it will enable the company to reach out to more students, schools and corporates through print advertisements in the newspaper.
Last year EdServ had signed similar pacts with Dainik Jagran, HT Media and BCCL to get access to their advertising inventory and for other marketing and promotion activities.
EdServ had also announced that it intends to raise Rs 35 million through a GDR issue to fund the company’s expansion plans and launched mobile apps. The company intends to utilize the funding for infrastructure expansion, investment in 160 additional schools, new mobile and TV offerings, up gradation of IT systems and for brand promotion.
Recently, EdServ also tied up with EducationAndhra.com, an educational resource provider that offers online courses for IITJEE, AIEEE, CA & IT. By the virtue of this collaboration, the company expects to increase its user base to 3.5 million.
It also bought out the eLearning Online content of Prosel Ventures, which offers online content for CA, CS, CWA and IFRS through video lectures and animated content, for Rs 35 crore . EdServ also tied up with Nokia to provide its education content on Nokia smart phones through its HumThum apps.The company competes with the likes of Pearson, Educomp and InOpen among others.