MockBank, a startup that provides online mock tests for government jobs, has raised about $400,000 (Rs 2.6 crore) in seed funding from Blume Ventures and other investors. Singapore-based angel fund Mercatus Capital, Slideshare co-founder Amit Ranjan and Bain & Company India chairman Srivatsan Rajan also participated in this round, as per a press statement. Mockbank Learning Pvt Ltd, the firm behind MockBank, will use the money raised to strengthen its technology platform and content offerings. The company was co-founded by former Bain & Co executive Konark Singhal, ex-IBM official Manesh Jain and former Sify executive Ramesh Narayanan in July 2013. The company provides online test preparation services for PSU jobs at banks, insurance companies and financial services. “MockBank is aiming to disrupt the government jobs space in India,” said Konark Singhal, co-founder and managing director, MockBank. “Our vision and business model have been validated by the market. Over the last two years we have continuously listened to our customers and incorporated their feedback into our delivery model. Most of our customers come back to buy again. We have many customers who are happy and successful, and are referring more people to us”, added Singhal. The company is targeting a space which creates 20-40 million jobs annually. It claims to have over 100,000 customers. MockBank aims to be a major player in mock tests related to civil services, engineering services, judicial services and teaching services. “For a vast majority of Indians, getting into a government job is a major aspiration as it is still seen as a ticket to a stable and secure life ahead. Unfortunately, the current methods of preparation for the myriad recruitment tests don’t leverage technology and connected lifestyles in any big way. MockBank’s approach comes across as fresh and is focused towards solving a genuine problem on the ground,” said Arpit Agarwal, principal at Blume Ventures. Blume Ventures is a seed-stage venture fund that has backed startups such as GreyOrange, Covacsis, WeAreHolidays, Instamojo, Hashcube, Purplle, Nowfloats and Tookitaki. The education technology space has been generating tremendous interest among investors. Last week, Prozo.com, an online marketplace for buying and selling study material, secured seed funding of $205,000 (Rs 1.37 crore) from a group of investors. US-based Coursera Inc, an education technology company that partners with universities to offer courses online, recently secured $49.5 million in the first closing of Series C funding from New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Times Internet (TIL) and others investors. In June, Bangalore-based Suphalaam Technologies Pvt Ltd, which owns and operates online education marketplace CAKART.in, had raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding from Sunil Maheshwari and other unnamed investors. Earlier this year, Info Edge (India) Ltd, which runs a slew of internet properties such as Naukri, 99acres, Jeevansathi and Shiksha among others invested an additional Rs 25 crore ($4 million) in Applect Learning Systems Pvt Ltd, which operates the online education and assessment venture Meritnation. Recently, Delhi-based education technology firm Wincourse acquired 85 per cent stake in Mappr, a social learning platform where students can share notes and interact with teachers, for an undisclosed amount.
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