Bangladesh Angels, the pioneering angel investment network in the country, has closed a pre-seed investment round into Esho Shikhi Limited, an EDTECH start-up looking to democratize access to education through high-quality, animated, Bangla language content generated by top coaches and tutors. The contents are accessible anywhere, anytime.
BD Venture Limited, which had previously invested in Esho Shikhi during its launch in late 2016, also co-invested in this round.
The founder team ideated the Startup while managing a national network of coaching centers, when they identified the gap between the quality of tuition available to students in secondary cities as well as rural areas vis-a-vis those in the capital.
This means that many young learners, particularly as they reach SSC, HSC and beyond, must move to Dhaka to avail quality instruction to ace in various examinations. But access to quality instructors remains out of reach for most, and although Bangladehis now have a few online platforms for English content, there is a dearth of quality content in Bangla targeting these examinations comprehensively.
Concurrently, the proliferation of smartphone devices, the continuing decline in the cost of data and increasingly digital savvy youngsters provide a ripe context to introduce an online EDTECH platform for content, quizzes, live sessions and Q&A and other study tools that can complement traditional education.
“When we evaluated companies for our first-ever funding round earlier in 2019, we were intrigued by the potential market for digital education content. Moreover, we saw the persistence, tenacity and commitment of Esho Shikhi founders in realizing this vision over the last 2.5 years. Their go-getter attitude, experience, and market knowledge, combined with the business acumen and diverse skill sets of our angels will provide them a headstart among other entrants,” says Nirjhor Rahman, the CEO of Bangladesh Angels. Saiful Islam, founder of EPL and the lead angel into Esho Shikhi adds that the Angels “made this investment out of a sense of personal obligation, responsibility and commitment to society with an objective to make education easy and fun while maintaining quality and high standards.”
BD Venture making a second round of investment is a vote of confidence in the venture and the team. "Since the first investment of BD Venture in 2016, Esho Shikhi has developed and grown a strong pool of content and technical developers to support the smooth operation of the app and website. The founders have been giving relentless effort to make the content more resourceful, fruitful and adaptive. As they’ve done so they needed to raise further funds to continue growth, but also to bring in different expertise. That’s why BD Venture Ltd. participated in this 2nd round alongside Angels,” says Shafique Ul-Azam, the Managing Director of BD Venture Ltd.
The investment from BAN and BD Venture are being used to develop the technology platform, content library and a well-rounded team to execute on the business model. Moreover, the investors are providing extensive support in strategy, business development, and corporate governance. Since partnering with BAN and BD Venture, the relaunched app of Esho Shikhi has seen 40,000+ downloads. Users are enjoying 100’s of hours of content across higher secondary, university entrance and job preparation courses, and the team has developed a pipeline of partnerships with schools and popular teachers as content creators.