Today, we see children hooked on to gaming devices or mobiles, and spending hours playing games. Parents are quite quick to ponder and point out the adverse effects of this habit but often fail to realize the positive impact games can create on children’s learning process and cognitive skills development. If right kinds of games are available, they can create a win-win situation for children and parents.
Sarav Sundaramoorthy, an entrepreneur from Chennai, believes that every child has some innate talent that can be and must be nurtured in the right way. With SkillAngles, a startup that he founded in 2013 along with Kalpana Murthy and Parimala Vageesan, Sarav is trying to break the rut of education system and redefine the learning process for children by focusing on cognitive skills development (comprising of memory, visual processing, focus & attention, problem solving & linguistics), life skills and social skills development. These skills are best trained in the formative years (four to 14 years) of a person’s life.
SkillAngels is a digital platform that fosters the aforementioned 5 areas of brain skill development by gamifying learning process. Sarav wants to make every brain a super brain. Skill Angles supplements the curriculum learning in K-8 schools using its patent pending, ‘Brain skill to curriculum mapping’ gamified engine. SkillAngels is channelizing the potential of games and the skills these games can develop to create a controlled learning environment.
Sarav has 15+ years experience in heading software product divisions and has built and exited another statup before SkillAngles. In 2007, he started his first venture, eZeemath, a cartoon-based mathematics concept teaching program. Sarav was a first generation entrepreneur learning to build a startup and that too at the peak of the financial crisis. He sold the startup to a large education systems provider in India and exited in 2010.
SkillAngels has developed more than 500 games and all of these were developed after a lot of research and inputs from clinical psychologists, behavioural and development paediatrician. Sarav says, “last 8 months, since our product launch, have been very exciting. We launched a Reality Games Platform and we are currently talking to 40+ schools for rolling out implementation for the next academic year in June. We will be looking to take SkillAngels to major cities in India, Singapore, Dubai and having 1 lakh children play on our SkillAngels games.”
In October 2012, the SkillAngles was incubated at IIT Madras’ RTBI. An undisclosed equity investment came in as part of winning the Tech4Impact program of CIIE and the investment was made from the CIIE & Village Capital Impact fund in July 2013. SkillAngels is in an early stage and will be looking to raise a Series A round post June, after the schools sales cycle for the year. They want the investment for building sales and marketing team, to expand their platform to a multi-lingual and multi-platform one and also to expand globally.”
Game-based learning market was $2.3 billion in 2013 and is expected to grow to about $6 billion by 2020 globally across different demographics, including children, adults and senior citizens. In India, this market is very nascent and SkillAngles is trying to disrupt the foundation level cognitive learning space.
Sarav shares, “Some of our global competitors include Lumosity, Brain Health, Cognifit. But we are the first ones to map curriculum learning to brain skills and classify the gaming offerings according to grades KG to Class 8. This mapping is an indigenously developed patent-pending technology by us.”