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Kangaroo Kids raises $20 million from Gaja Capital

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-03-2017 Anuradha Choudhary

Mid-market focused private equity (PE) firm Gaja Capital has invested about $20 million in Mumbai-based Kangaroo Kids Education Ltd, which runs a chain of elite pre-schools and schools, according to a statement.

The size of the stake sold wasn’t disclosed.

Founded in 1993 by Lina Ashar, Kangaroo Kids is one of the country’s largest pre-kindergarten and K12 school chains (K12 refers to schools that take in students from kindergarten to Class XII).

The company claims that it offers pre-school education to more than 9,000 students across 79 schools in 20 cities in India, Dubai and the Maldives. It also runs a chain of schools under the brand Billabong High. Started in 2003, Billabong High has 16 schools and 7,000 students.

The deal is the fourth investment made by Mumbai-based Gaja Capital from its latest fund—the $240 million Gaja Capital III. The PE firm made the final close of its third fund at $240 million in March last year after marking the first close in October 2014.

Gaja Capital primarily focuses on the consumption segment, with an emphasis on the education, financial services, consumer and healthcare sectors. Currently, it manages assets of about $500 million across its three investment vehicles.

In education, Gaja Capital’s portfolio includes EuroKids, CL Educate, TeamLease Services and SportzVillage. Gaja Capital III made its first investment in frozen food speciality firm Bakers Circle in February 2015, investing Rs36 crore along with existing investor DSG Consumer Partners.

From the third fund, the firm invested Rs30 crore in small finance bank licensee Suryoday Micro Finance in September last year and also in SportzVillage, which offers sports management services to schools.

The third fund targets to make between 8-10 investments, with the average investment ticket size ranging between $5-$40 million.

The development comes at a time when Gaja Capital is partially exiting CL Educate, which owns the Career Launcher brand, as part of the education services company’s ongoing initial public offering.

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