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Career Launcher picks stake in 361 Degree

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Pays $1 million for ‘significant minority' holding.

(from left) Mr C.P. Gopinathan, Co-founder, 361 Degree Minds Consulting Pvt Ltd; Mr R. Satya Narayanan, Chairman, Career Launcher India Ltd; and Mr P. Rammohan, Co-founder, 361 Degree Minds, in Chennai on Tuesday. - Bijoy Ghosh
(from left) Mr C.P. Gopinathan, Co-founder, 361 Degree Minds Consulting Pvt Ltd; Mr R. Satya Narayanan, Chairman, Career Launcher India Ltd; and Mr P. Rammohan, Co-founder, 361 Degree Minds, in Chennai on Tuesday. - Bijoy Ghosh

T.E. Raja Simhan

Chennai, Feb. 16

Career Launcher, the Delhi-based education service provider, has invested $1 million (Rs 4.6 crore) for a ‘significant minority stake' in 361 Degree Minds, a Chennai-based research and technology-driven company that trains company officials and college students. The exact stake was not revealed by company officials citing ‘non-disclosure agreement.'

It is the first round of funding by Career Launcher in 361 Degree. Another $1-2 million is expected in a second round in a few months, according to Mr C.P. Gopinathan, who founded 361 Degree in 2006 along with two of his college mates, Mr P. Rammohan and Ms Ritu Vinayak, from BITS Pilani.

The investment will be used to improve technology, bring out new programmes, go-to-market strategy and research. It has trained nearly 3,500 ‘learners' from companies such as Nokia Siemens, AstraZeneca, Career Launcher and SanDisk. 361 Degree provides training to middle-level and senior-level managers to face some of the real life problems that happen in a company, Mr Gopinathan told Business Line.

Mr R. Satya Narayanan, Founder Chairman, Career Launcher, said the company has so far invested nearly $6 million in various start-up education-based companies. “I believe education needs to be significantly altered and has to be scaled and made affordable to people. Both the companies will work together to develop innovative education methodology,” he said.

Mr Narayanan said Gaja Capital in 2005 invested $15 million in the Rs 150-crore Career Launcher, when it bought out the company's shares from Intel Capital. Globally, over 400 academics and professionals work with the company to counsel and groom over 50,000 students across 130 locations in India, West Asia and the US, he said.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 17, 2010)
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