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Softbank leads $83 mln investment in Brazil education startup Descomplica

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SAO PAULO, Feb 18 (Reuters) - A group of investors led bySoftbank Group has invested 450 million reais ($83million) in Brazilian test-prep startup Descomplica, which hasseen demand for its online learning services surge in thepandemic, the company said on Thursday.

Descomplica said it would use the funds to make acquisitionsand develop new products, including 33 new courses by next year.

"We want to create the biggest university in Brazil, quicklyreaching 1 million students with a 100% digital model," saidMarco Fisbhen, Descomplica's founder and chief executive.

Brazil's biggest education group, Cogna Educação SA, had just under 820,000 students enrolled in itsKroton higher education division at the end of September,according to quarterly earnings.

Founded in 2011 with a focus on preparing for standardizedtests to enter university and civil service, Descomplicalaunched undergraduate courses last year. The company boasts 5million monthly users between test-prep and higher educationstudents after a boost from pandemic lockdowns.

Along with Softbank, investors in the round include InvusGroup, the Chan Zuckerberg initiative and U2 guitarist The Edge.

($1 = 5.40 reais)(Reporting by Aluisio AlvesWriting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)