To expand its school transformation program (STP), Bengaluru-based school finance company Varthana has raised $3 million from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation.
Its existing investors, Elevar Equity, LGT Venture Philanthropy and Omidyar Network have also participated in the current round. Earlier, the company had raised Rs 93 crore in a Series B round led by Kaizen Private Equity and Zephyr Peacock India in 2016.
Varthana’s school transformation program (STP) is an initiative aimed at improving the quality of learning in affordable private schools. Through the STP initiative, the finance firm provides debt financing, education assessments, hands-on support, vendor connections, and financial rewards to schools in different states.
“Through this unique initiative, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is helping Varthana take another step towards enhancing the educational outcomes of children attending affordable private schools. Building on this success, we hope to further expand the School Transformation Program in the coming years,” said Steve Hardgrave, co-founder and chief executive officer of Varthana, reports Mint.
Founded in 2013, Varthana’s programme covers 337 schools and it is estimated to have an impact on more than 200,000 students. Currently, operates in 5 states, it has an in-house non-banking finance company (NBFC) for giving credit finance to schools.
It provides loans from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 1 crore for private schools at prevailing market rates. Apart from loans, Varthana focuses on working with schools to improve their learning outcomes by bettering their teaching quality and technology, among other things.
The innovative facility allows participating schools and Varthana to be rewarded up to 10 per cent of the loan amount for improving student learning outcomes by 5 to 10 per cent.
Set up in 1999, The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation is known for providing financial aid for children’s issues and community initiatives in the United States, India, South Africa, etc.