Founding Team of Skill-Lync - Sarangarajan V Iyengar, Co-Founder and Suryanarayanan P, Co-Founder and CEOE
dtech startup Skill-Lync has raised $17.5 million in a Series A round, led by Iron Pillar. Existing investors Y Combinator and Better Capital also participated in the funding round of the engineering-focused edtech startup which provides industry-courses in mechanical, electrical, civil, and computer science engineering domains for students in India and abroad. Binny Bansal (cofounder of Flipkart), Sai Krishnamurthy (ex-Flipkart and cofounder of Xto10X) and Rashmi Kwatra (founder of Sixteenth Street Capital) joined as new investors in this round.
The funds, underlined Suryanarayanan P, cofounder and chief executive officer of Skill-Lync, will be used to increase the number of courses, build the management team, and expand overseas business. The ever-increasing gap between the need of the industries and the education imparted by engineering institutions has led to a global shortage of high-quality engineering talent, he reckons. The rapid adoption of new technologies by industries has also created a need for constant upskilling of engineering professionals. The need of the hour, he stresses, is to have engineers who have the knowledge of both engineering fundamentals, and how they can be applied to solve real world problems through engineering design and simulation tools.
Skill-Lync will double down on developing corporate partnerships to understand future talent requirements, and build in-house, high-end engineering teams to offer excellent learning outcomes to students, adds Sarangarajan V Iyengar, cofounder of Skill-Lync.
For Iron Pillar, a venture growth investor providing growth capital and active help in global business expansion to companies in the enterprise and consumer technology sectors, investment in Skill-Lync is an opportunity to make a deeper impact in a segment which has seen little disruption over the last two decades. “Engineering education and upskilling outside of computer science have seen very little digital disruption over the last two decades,” says Anand Prasanna, managing partner at Iron Pillar. This, combined with the ever-expanding need for real world interdisciplinary applications of engineering in today’s world, creates a unique opportunity to establish a multi-billion dollar global company with deep moats in this space. “Skill-Lync team have already built a great product and significant revenue in the business, with exceptional growth and capital efficiency,” Prasanna adds.
The Chennai-based start-up backed by Y combinator initially started as a YouTube channel where the cofounders Sarangarajan and Suryanarayanan created small videos during their post-graduation days. The duo soon started selling their courses online to different colleges in India and abroad. It was in 2015 when both of them decided to quit their regular jobs and turn full-time entrepreneurs.
The traditional ways of teaching engineering courses have been replaced with the new ways of technology like artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and augmented reality, says Suryanarayanan. “We built Skill-Lync for ourselves,” he says. While the mechanical engineer duo had a theoretical understanding from studying engineering in India, it did not help while pursuing Masters or in a full-time job. What the industry expects is engineers having the ability to apply their theoretical understanding to solve problems by using computational design and simulation tools, he underlines. “This is exactly what we have built in Skill-Lync," he adds.a