Info Edge (India) through its wholly-owned subsidiary has infused Rs 37.93 crore in Applect Learning Systems, which runs the e-learning site MeritNation, the company informed BSE. With this investment, Info Edge has increased its stake to 65.67% in Applect from the earlier 56%. The overall stake of Info Edge will be on a “fully converted and diluted” basis.
The company said in its filing, that MeritNation will use the money for its operations and repayment of the existing debt to Info Edge. “Out of Rs 37.93 crore, about Rs 32.19 crore is proposed to be used for repayment of the debt by MeritNation to the company,” it added in the filing.
In an earnings call for Q417, Info Edge’s CEO and MD Hitesh Oberoi had said that in 2016-17, the company advanced a total of Rs 23 crores to Applect by way of a loan and the total gross amount was invested in external ventures, including the loan to Applect stood at Rs 845 crores.
Applect reported turnover of Rs 36.30 crore for FY17, representing a growth of 26.43% from a turnover of Rs 28.71 in FY16.
MeritNation caters to school students (Class 1-12) across various educational boards like CBSE, ICSE, Maharashtra state board (MSBSHSE), Karnataka state board (KSEEB), Tamil Nadu state board (Samacheer Kalvi), and Kerala state board among others. It offers study material and mock tests for competitive exams like IIT JEE and NEET and free NCERT solutions, subject-wise synopsis and chapter-wise revision notes for classes 6-12. In November 2015, MeritNation said that it has crossed 1 crore users.
In June 2015, the e-learning platform raised funding worth Rs 25 crore from Info Edge. The company said then it would use the funds for hiring teachers, expanding its broadcast studios and focusing on MeritNation LIVE. Other than this, Info Edge has invested around Rs 71.5 crore in Applect Learning Systems across five different rounds (excluding current round) – a Rs 6.5 crore round in July 2008, Rs 5 crore round in May 2010, Rs 20 crore round in September 2011 and a Rs 30 crore round in February 2013 and a Rs 10 crore round in December 2013.