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Publishing company S Chand raises $27 million; push for digital services


S Chand, the publisher of textbooks and competitive exam material, has raised $27 million (Rs 179.2 crore) led by International Finance Corp (Rs 110 crore) and existing investor Everstone Capital (Rs 60 crore), reports ET. It will use the funds for scaling up operations in education publishing, digital education and augmenting textbooks with multimedia and digital content.

The S Chand Group was founded in 1939 and got funding worth $28 million from Everstone Capital for a 35% stake in 2012. According to this Hindu report, 95% of the company’s revenue comes from print, and 5% from digital services, which it plans to increase to 25% in 5 years.

S Chand also has plans to acquire a complete or majority stake in 3-4 regional publishing houses which offer state education board products. The company has previously acquired Vikas Publishing House and Madhuban Educational Books for $25 million. According to the Hindu, it will buy out Saraswati Publishing House, in which it already holds a stake, by the end of this year.

S Chand claims to publish 35 million textbooks and delivers 4,000 hours of e-content to 20 million students annually. It has 23 offices across the country and publishes school and college textbooks, children’s books and books for competitive exams, similarly offering digital learning solutions for government and private schools and engineering colleges.

Smartivity Labs investment: Last month, Smartivity Labs, a startup which uses augmented reality and robotics for learning, raised $200,000 in seed funding from the publisher. Smartivity would use the funds for expanding its product portfolio along with geographical expansion and strengthening its supply chain. Smartivity aimed to launch its robot based learning module in the next 3 months, along with an internet connected learning device next year.

Developments in the online publishing space:

– Earlier this month, Quintype, a CMS that lets publishers manage editorial assignments, launched SpeakWrite, a platform for digital media startups where it would provide design services, developing and testing for websites and apps and 1,000 hours of professional services over 12 months.

– In September, publishing company Juggernaut Books which focuses on pushing content on mobile first raised an undisclosed round of funding from FabIndia’s founder William Bissell, Infosys’ co-founder Nandan Nilekani and Neeraj Aggarwal, managing director of Boston Consulting Group India.

– In the same month, non profit trust Pratham Books launched StoryWeaver, an open source digital platform, which featured 800 stories in 24 languages (14 Indian and 12 international languages), with an image repository of over 2,000 images.

Our education and publishing coverage.

Image Credit: Kathleen Zarubin

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