These 5 edtech startups are ensuring that learning is interactive and fun for children
From interactive games and immersive AR to songs-based curriculum and stories, these 5 edtech startups are tapping technology to combine education with entertainment, and engage children.
COVID-19 has been an inflexion point for the edtech industry. Amidst the pandemic, when many sectors were slowing, numerous Indian edtech startups, including BYJU’s, Toppr, Unacademy, and others, successfully raised funding.
According to YourStory Research, edtech was India’s second-most funded sector after fintech and financial services in H1 2020. Over $714 million in funding was raised by edtech startups across 46 deals compared to just $158 million across 20 deals in H1 2019. Edtech startups also accounted for 17.2 percent of all VC investments in H1 2020, says the report.
Startups are changing the idea of education by replacing traditional classroom learning with apps that blur the lines between education and entertainment.
YourStory lists a few educational game apps that have made the learning process fun, engaging, and informative for children.
India’s largest online learning platform BYJU’s was founded by teacher-turned-entrepreneur Byju Raveendran in 2011. It was initially started as an offline tutorials company by the name Think & Learn Pvt Ltd.
The Bengaluru-based edtech unicorn provides comprehensive learning programmes in math and science for kindergarten to Class 12 students, along with test prep courses for competitive exams like JEE, NEET, GMAT, IAS, etc.
In 2019, BYJU’s collaborated with Walt Disney and launched the Disney BYJU’S Early Learn App for children aged four to eight years to make learning more fun and engaging.
The standalone app offers personalised and interactive programmes featuring Disney stories and characters from Frozen, Toy Story, Disney Princesses, and more. It includes in-depth concepts and comprehensive learning, immersive experiences, and interactive learning games. Children are also rewarded with stickers and badges to keep them motivated and engaged.
In the past nine years, BYJU’s has become one of the world’s most valued edtech startups and has attracted marquee global investors like Sequoia Capital India, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, General Atlantic, Tiger Global, Tencent, Naspers, and others. Recently, BYJU’s raised $400 million from DST Global. The edtech unicorn is currently valued at $10.5 billion.
Founded in 2017 by Sneha Sundaram, an educator and writer, and Bharat Bevinahally, an ISB alumnus, musician, and audio producer, Kutuki Kids Learning App is an award winning early-learning app for children below the age group of seven .
The founders wanted to build a curriculum that addresses important learning milestones for children. The startup uses proprietary stories and songs-based curriculum to attract students. It has a team of educators, musicians, artists, storytellers, and tech professionals who are passionate about bringing art and technology together to create quality and engaging content for children.
Unlike regular learning apps, Kutuki focuses on language and phonetics, math and science, social and life skills, and cognitive development.
The startup also offers simple games to build vocabulary, life skills, and learn letters and numbers.
It claims the app has over one lakh users and is subscribed to by over 130 pre-schools. It is also making its path with its regional language content across Tier I, II, and III cities.
Recently, Kutuki was recognised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as one of the winners of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat App Innovation Challenge.
PlayShifu is a US and Bengaluru-based startup founded in 2016 by Vivek Goyal and Dinesh Advani, graduates of Stanford GSB and IIT Kharagpur.
The startup aims to educate and entertain children with engaging and immersive AR experiences.
PlayShifu’s flagship product, Shifu Orboot, is an AR-based globe that provides information about countries, regions, monuments, and more. Shifu Plugo is designed to help children master science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills from an early age, and includes story-based games, problem solving, and over 250 adaptive challenges. .
The startup will soon launch Shifu Tacto, a board game with digital game play and STEM learning experiences.
PlayShifu recently raised Series A funding of $7 million from Chiratae Ventures, Inventus Capital, and Bharat Innovation Fund. IDFC Parampara Fund also participated in the round. The startup has a user base of over 250,000 kids worldwide as of now.
Paper Boat Apps, a children-focused edutainment studio, was founded in 2013 by husband-wife duo Anupam and Anshu Dhanuka. The startup works towards building world-class edutainment apps for preschool children.
Its flagship product, the Kiddopia app, offers interactive games and activities to foster self-expression and cognitive development. The subscription-based app entertains and encourages learning through an array of creative and stimulating activities.
Its team of artists, visualisers, developers, and designers aim to create context that children love. It offers integrated learning that is curriculum linked along with a math programme, language skills, general knowledge, creativity, role playing, and social-emotional learning.
In 2019, gaming and digital sports company Nazara Technologies invested Rs 83.5 crore in Paper Boat Apps. Today, Kiddopia has 2.5 million downloads and over one lakh active subscribers.
TinyTapps is an edtech startup based in Pune. Founded by Altaf Rahmani in 2015, the startup provides a suite of apps for children under the age of six. It is working towards children’s early education by generating curiosity, fostering skill development, and promoting constructive thinking.
The startup, which has a portfolio of over 53 educational apps, is focusing on creating engaging content to help develop critical cognitive skills like reading, writing, listening, and math.
The team also works closely with schools and publishers to provide kid-friendly content, including activity-based and holistic learning, reports and assessments, and analytics and parental control.
Its products include WEE Learning System and Apps. It also launched the WEE Tablet recently.
Edited by Megha Reddy