CENTA, a Bangalore-based startup that offers online certification and training for teachers, has raised $1 million in angel funding. The startup plans to use the funds to expand its product portfolio, reach more teachers and schools, and enter new markets.
Founded in 2015 by Anjali Jain, a former McKinsey consultant, CENTA aims to improve the quality of teaching and learning in India by providing a standardized and credible assessment of teacher competencies, along with personalized feedback and learning paths.
The startup claims to have assessed over 200,000 teachers across 15,000 schools in India and abroad, and partnered with several state governments, private school chains, and non-governmental organizations.
CENTA offers three levels of certification for teachers: Foundation, Professional, and Leadership. The certification is based on a rigorous online test that covers various aspects of teaching, such as subject knowledge, pedagogy, classroom management, communication skills, and professional ethics.
Teachers who clear the test receive a digital certificate and a detailed report on their strengths and areas of improvement. They also get access to curated learning resources and career opportunities on CENTA’s platform.
According to Jain, CENTA’s certification is recognized by several employers in the education sector, such as Byju’s, Vedantu, Teach For India, Azim Premji Foundation, and others. She said that the certification helps teachers enhance their skills, confidence, and employability. She also said that the certification helps schools improve their quality standards and attract and retain talent.
CENTA bets big on teacher certification and training demand
Jain said that the demand for online teacher certification and training has increased significantly during the pandemic, as schools shifted to remote learning and teachers faced new challenges and expectations.
She said that CENTA has seen a 3x growth in its user base and revenue in the last year. She also said that the startup has launched new products and services to cater to the emerging needs of teachers and schools, such as micro-credentials, online courses, webinars, mentoring sessions, and school audits.
The angel investors who participated in the funding round said that they were impressed by CENTA’s vision, impact, and scalability. They said that they believe that CENTA has the potential to transform the education sector in India and beyond by creating a large pool of competent and motivated teachers.
CENTA is one of the few startups in India that focus on teacher development. According to a report by RedSeer Consulting, the online education market in India is expected to grow from $2.8 billion in 2020 to $10.4 billion by 2025, driven by increased adoption of digital learning solutions by students, parents, teachers, and schools.
However, the report also highlighted the need for improving the quality of teaching and learning outcomes in India, where only 16% of students in grade 5 can read grade 2 texts and only 27% can do basic arithmetic.
The funding was raised from a group of investors, including Leo Puri, former managing director of UTI Asset Management, Pankaj Sahni, former chief operating officer of Medanta Hospitals, and Nikhil Mohta, director of ICICI Ventures.