AlmaConnect, a portal that connects alumni, students & faculty, has raised $250,000 from CIIE – IIM Ahmedabad, IXORA Ventures, CountShop.com, Ixigo Co-founder Dharmendra Yashovardhan and other angel investors, reports Nextbigwhat.
The report states that this investment was made about six months ago and it follows a $50,000 seed investment from DA-IICT center for entrepreneurship and incubation in January 2011.
The company plans to use the funds raised for product development and plans to launch a freemium plan, wherein alumni can start their own network and add limited number of users to the group, as indicated by the report. The company currently charges an annual subscription fee to colleges to launch their alumni network, although there is currently no pricing information on AlmaConnect website.
Founded in February 2011 by Swapnil Khandelwal and Rubish Gupta, AlmaConnect aims to offer a networking platform for educational institutes to engage their alumni network and help institute students to seek contacts, jobs and other resources from their alumni network. According to the company website, the platform was expected to go live in February 2013, however it was under invite-only mode at the time of writing this article. Interestingly though, the company claims to already have 45 paying customers, as indicated by the report.
Traditionally, institutes and education organizations have been dependent on newsletters to stay connected with its alumnis, students and faculty, however we have noticed that a significant number of institues have migrated to Facebook groups and LinkedIn groups for their alumni. It needs to be seen how will Almaconnect differentiates itself from these offerings.
We are not familiar with any similar online portals that offer alumni services to institutes. However, Almamaterstore.in provides students and alumni of premier schools and colleges across India with customized merchandise such as t-shirts, hoodies and accessories. It had raised an undisclosed amount from Indian Angel Network (IAN) in November 2012.