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Menterra invests in education start-up Math Buddy
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Menterra Social Impact Fund has invested an undisclosed amount in Vadodara-based Math Buddy, which develops interactive mathematics learning products for CBSE schools. It is now in over 200 schools in 19 States.

Math Buddy will use the money to increase its presence to about 2,000 schools in the next three years. At present, according to Kannan Bharadwaj, co-founder, Math Buddy, the products are used in high-income schools. It wants to target low-income schools, for which it will set up a separate training and support arm to help these schools implement and use the product.

This is the first outside investment in Math Buddy, which has been self-funded. Kannan and Bharathy Bharadwaj, co-founder, are both engineering graduates. Kannan obtained a BTech from IIT Madras and an MBA from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, while Bharathy Bharadwaj obtained a BTech from MIT, Chennai, and a Master’s in Computer Science from Eastern Michigan University.

Incorporated in 2010, Math Buddy has 1,500 activities, 800 interactive worksheets and assessments and an online Olympiad. It has created these products based on detailed research on how maths concepts are taught in different parts of the world. The products have a combination of hands-on activities and interactive software and are meant to supplement the effort by teachers, not to replace them, according to Kannan Bharadwaj.

Bharathy Bharadwaj, co-founder, Math Buddy, was quoted in a press release as saying that the venture was working on regional language support and local curriculum alignments so that the products could be used in schools across the country.

The release quoted Mukesh Sharma, Founder and Managing Director, Menterra Venture Advisers, as saying that Menterra was one of the first impact investors to invest in Vadodara, indicating an increasing interest in cultivating a start-up culture in Gujarat. For too long, he said, funding and support had been confined to the big cities, while there was deserving talent in the smaller cities and towns.

Launched in January 2016, Menterra Social Impact Fund I is an impact investment fund that invests Rs 1 – 4 crore for a significant minority stake in early-stage social enterprises in education, health and agriculture.