iWebTechno, a Mumbai-based EdTech SaaS startup digitizing educational institutions connecting students to banks, fintechs, EdTech and service partners, recently announced that it has raised an undisclosed amount in seed funding from Orbit Startups through its VC fund SOSV.
Founded by Akshay Shah in 2005, iWebTechno provides digitization support through their state-of-the-art IUMS® (Integrated University Management System) that extends digitization modules for both academic and non-academic sectors of a university. This unique model is monetized through a structured combination of subvention by banks and payment gateways, commissions on fee collections and convenience fees from students ensuring SaaS revenues are recovered in this manner.
With a mission of making digitization seamless for universities, the company has created an innovative SaaS model that offers free digitization services to universities throughout India through their alliance with 6 major banks. It is helping academic institutions to adopt digitization through free digitization services, and currently run by 3 of the 4 original founders Akshay Shah (CEO), Ketan Trivedi (Executive Chairman), and Yogiraj Kamat (Head – Alliances). Another former founder, Sid Nasnodkar, still advises the company on product and technical strategy.
Commenting on the funding, Founder & CEO of iWebTechno, Akshay Shah, said:
“Thousands of universities around the world are unable to adopt full-scale digitization due to pricing and customization constraints. This barrier is hampering the education experience for both universities and their millions of students. The crisis prompted us to develop a pragmatic solution for the problem and that led us to launch our innovative freemium digitization services for academic institutions. We are extremely grateful to SOSV and Orbit Startups for providing us with an excellent opportunity to introduce our innovative offerings to the world and raise such a robust volume through seed funding. We are now aspiring to expand in India and globally to enable free digitization for more universities.”
Shah further said:
“The recently raised seed funding has been a huge boost to their endeavor and the support has taken them a step higher in furthering their services across more academic institutions.”
Unlike its competitors, which either require an upfront license fee or unaffordable subscription fees leading to less than 10% of Indian institutes getting truly digitized, the startup also provides a first-of-its-kind freemium model catering to all academic sections that need digitization–covering admission, exams, fees, attendance modules. In regard to non-academic sections, iWeb offers free digitization for HRMS, payroll, purchase, inventory, and finance modules. The service is available for not just universities but for schools and colleges as well across India.
For a holistic EdTech solution, the firm has also created a vibrant student marketplace, offering special deals and discounts for student-related products and services that adds revenues when these are consumed and transacted on the platform. Students consuming the SaaS application provide a sticky customer base for the SaaS enabled marketplace providing huge upside potential in the coming quarters.
William Bao Bean, Managing Director, Orbit Startups, added:
“University students will drive India’s future consumer consumption and spending habits are formed in school years. “iWebTechno is providing a platform connecting students to not just their classes but the best ecommerce, fintech, education, health and digital services.”
iWebTechno claims to have digitized a dozen of universities, covering over 600 affiliated colleges with more than 700,000 students. It aims to digitize around 10% to 20% of the 35 million higher education and about 10% of 350 million students in the K12 segment in India.