Matrix India invests INR1bn in education company

The India-focused fund manager is backing FIITJEE, marking its second investment in the education sector.

Matrix India Partners, an India-focused venture and growth capital firm, has invested INR1 billion ($20.5 million; €14.6 million) in FIITJEE, a group providing training for competitive examinations in India.

The stake acquired was not disclosed. Following the completion of the deal, Rishi Navani, co-founder and managing director of Matrix India Partners, will join the company’s board.

Established in 1992, FIITJEE provides training for entrance examinations for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and other engineering colleges. It also provides training for higher classes to K-12 schools and for various tests for admissions to universities in the US.

“The opportunity is exciting as education is a large market. Many companies in this space have good return on capital characteristics,” Navani said in an interview. He added that companies in the sector tend to be stable and defensible businesses as well.

This is Matrix’s second investment in the education sector. In August 2008, the firm invested INR300 million in Tree House Education and Accessories, a Mumbai-based pre-school educator.

The firm currently manages assets of $300 million and has invested about $80 million thus far. It makes venture capital investments of up to $10 million and growth capital investments of up to $50 million.

Some of its investments include Brand Marketing India, a foreign brand marketer; ItzCash, a pre-paid cash card company; Seventymm, an online movie rental company; Yo! China, a Chinese fast-food chain with outlets in major Indian cities; and Kijiji India, an online classifieds-style website.