Vocational Edtech Company Vah Vah! Raises US$1.85m from Sequoia Capital India’s Surge
The company is making quality vocational education accessible to anyone with a smartphone and internet connection
Students undergo cohort-based learning in micro-batches from trained professionals
Vah Vah! has welcomed students from 250+ cities in India and offers courses in three languages
Bengaluru, Karnataka [India]: Online vocational education company Vah Vah! announced that it has raised US$1.85M in a seed round from Sequoia Capital India’s Surge. The startup’s mission is to educate and prepare India’s young and dynamic population for their future careers, training them in vocational skills so that they can find employment or run their own business. It is projected that by 2023, India will need over 70 million people in the skilled labour workforce, yet currently only has a training capacity for about 13 million students. College is not an option for about 20 million secondary school graduates each year, either due to their financial circumstances or school grades. As a result, this has created a huge gap between employment supply and demand for many industries crucial to the country’s growth.
“We want to bring the best teachers to every corner of India, and raise the quality of education in overlooked sectors that have the potential to create the next 100 million jobs. The shortfall of vocational schools means that vocational training is often inaccessible or too costly for many – making it especially challenging for those who live outside of metropolitan areas looking to upskill themselves. With Vah Vah!, anyone with a mobile phone and an internet connection can now access quality vocational education,” said Co-Founder Shailesh Daxini. Started in October 2020 and headquartered in Bengaluru, Vah Vah!’s courses are designed for those looking to build a career or run their own entrepreneurial service business. 90% of the startup’s cohorts are women, with an all-India representation. The startup currently offers professional courses in Makeup and Hair Styling, with plans to expand to other vocational skill sets.
On the decision to first focus on the beauty industry, Co-Founder Eashwar Subbiah said, “The beauty sector in India is expected to grow at 30% CAGR, and workforce requirements have doubled according to the National Skill Development Council of India. The majority of our students enrol with the ambition to learn new skills to create earning opportunities for themselves in the industry, so there is a real need in the market from both employees and employers for such services.”
Vah Vah!’s courses are offered in small batches, and students are sent well-designed learning kits with all the material they need to complete the course. Students learn from experienced beauty industry professionals, who undergo further training before they teach at Vah Vah!. For example, the platform’s professional make-up artist course is a 22-day comprehensive training program across a variety of looks, such as fashion and bridal makeup, and includes career counselling and one-on-one Q&A time with trainers. With extensive experience in consumer, gaming and technology industry, the founders Akash Senapaty, Eashwar Subbiah and Shailesh Daxini started this venture with a goal to skill people with job-specific vocational training as a pathway towards financial independence.
Vah Vah! is part of Surge’s fifth cohort of 23 companies that have developed new digital solutions to help companies and individuals work, live and learn better in a rapidly evolving Southeast Asian landscape.
Vah Vah! is a live, online vocational training platform that offers professional beauty courses. Its mission is to educate and prepare India’s young and dynamic population for their careers, training them in vocational skills so that they can find employment or run their own business.
For more information, visit https://vahvah.com/ or follow on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn.
Surge is Sequoia Capital India’s rapid scale-up program for startups in India and Southeast Asia. Surge combines $1 million to $2 million of seed capital with company-building workshops, a global curriculum and support from a community of exceptional mentors and founders. The program’s goal is to supercharge early-stage startups and give founders an unfair advantage, right out of the gate. For more information on Surge, visit www.surgeahead.com.