Pearson today announces a new investment in Karadi Path, an English language learning company based in Chennai, India, made through the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF).
This marks PALF’s 10th investment in entrepreneurs who are improving education outcomes for low-income learners in the developing world, in countries including South Africa, Nigeria and the Philippines.
Through this deal, Karadi Path raises $2.3 million in a series A round of funding led by PALF, alongside Aavishkaar.
Karadi Path addresses the huge need to improve English-language learning across India, which is often the key to student progress, whether in higher education or the workplace. India’s Annual State of Education Report (ASER), which measures educational progress across the country, highlights the dire state of English learning - less than half of grade-five children in India can read a grade-two text in English.
To accelerate learning, Karadi Path provides schools with a proprietary curriculum that includes multi-media materials and training designed to accelerate the acquisition of language skills. They use a highly impactful approach that mimics the processes of mother-tongue learning to help students learn English through actions, music and stories in an immersive environment.
Founded in 2011, Karadi Path now operates in over 1,200 schools, both private and government-run, across 8 states, reaching over 200,000 students this school year. They have also trained over 6,000 teachers to date.
“We are excited to invest in Karadi Path and work with them to help low-income learners improve their English-language proficiency,” says Arvind Nagarajan, PALF India investment director. “Karadi Path has a sound teaching approach and a commitment to measuring outcomes, two pillars that are critical to successful education companies. With this foundation, we believe they can help millions of learners improve their English and make progress in their lives.”
Karadi Path founder and CEO CP Viswanath says,“We wanted to find investors that were aligned to our goals and could be partners in building the business. We look forward to fostering this partnership with the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund and Aavishkaar. We want to reach a broader range of learners, including early childhood and college students, explore new ways to leverage technology and ultimately reach the scale of impact that is so important to us.”
Earlier in the year, Pearson invested an additional $50 million (£33 million) in PALF to support education entrepreneurs. And in September, PALF held its first Latin America Education Summit in Bogota, Colombia, in collaboration with philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network, aiming to connect the best education companies from across the region and provide them with mentoring and access to leading investors.
About the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund
The Pearson Affordable Learning Fund was launched by Pearson in July 2012 with $15 million of capital. In January 2015, Pearson committed an additional $50 million in capital to expand PALF’s work within emerging markets. Its mandate is to invest in companies that can build quality, scalable education solutions to meet a growing demand for affordable educational services across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
• PALF portfolio companies
• APEC Schools, Philippines
• Avanti, India
• Bridge Academies, Kenya
• Experifun, India
• Lekki, Nigeria
• Omega Schools, Ghana
• Spark Schools, South Africa
• Sudiksha, India
• Zaya, India
Pearson (pearson.com), the world’s largest education company, provides a range of education products and services to institutions, governments and direct to individual learners that help people everywhere aim higher and fulfil their true potential. Their work and product portfolio spans research to understand what sort of learning works best, through to the collaborative development of education products with world leading education experts.