With 200 pc growth in FY21, Sequoia-backed educational gaming startup Skillmatics eyes international expansion

Launched in 2017, Skillmatics is a global brand that develops innovative educational games and learning resources to build core skills in children. The startup is present in 15 countries, including India, the UK, EU, and Canada, and has sold over five million products since its launch.
97 CLAPS
0

Skillmatics, a direct-to-consumer (D2C) educational games and resource brand, has registered around 200 percent growth in revenue in FY21. The California and Mumbai-based startup said it closed FY21 with a revenue of Rs 150 crore compared to Rs 50 crore revenue in 2020. While the US is its core market, the company said 15 percent of the total revenue comes from India.

Skillmatics was launched in 2017 by Dhvanil Sheth and Devanshi Kejriwal. The startup develops educational products and games to enable children in building core skills through interactive games. 

From launching one product line initially, the startup now operates seven product lines and claims to have sold 5 million products till now.

Skillmatics has also grown its team from less than 75 people in 2021 to 150 people in 2022 across the US and India.

“The company was primarily based out of India and was exploring the US as a potential market in 2019. Today, Skillmatics has established presence in the US and India, and plans to expand to the UK, Germany, France, Japan, and Australia,” says CEO and Co-founder Dhvanil Sheth.

What it offers?

The startup develops educational products and games designed to help children build core skills through systematic play. According to Dhvanil, its innovative offerings range from math and language to science and logic.

The company has launched a number of product lines, including Guess in 10, Write & Wipe Activity Mats, and Found It! 

“In a market where products are predominately made of plastic, Skillmatics has developed innovative products that are sustainable in nature. The company has also built a rapid and iterative product development engine that has a highly data-driven approach to product design and is 5X faster than global incumbents. These factors have helped the brand compete in the global market,” Dhvanil adds.

“Majority of our products are made of recyclable paper and there is minimal use of plastic. We are not only using sustainable materials in product development, but also ensuring that the products we make are reusable and recyclable,” he says.

The brand operates across 15 countries, including India, the UK, EU, and Canada, and has sold over five million products since its launch. It is now planning to sell three million units this year. In India, Skillmatics manufactures its products in western India like Daman, Maharashtra, etc.

"We discovered Skillmatics on Amazon and have been in love with the brand ever since. They make super fun educational games for kids of all ages. We personally love their card games especially Guess in 10 but their entire collection of repeatable activity mats and STEM toys are equally amazing. Love the fact that kids learn so much, and all through play,” says one of Skillmatics’ customers Swati Kalra.

The business and future

As per Dhvanil, Skillmatics operates in the $100 billion toy and game market. The startup has been able to break into the market due to its differentiated brand positioning, innovative IP-led products, and unique global business model. 

At present, Skillmatics sells globally via online marketplaces, its own website, and offline retailers like Walmart, Target, and Hamleys. 

“A bestseller on Amazon, Skillmatics has garnered customer love with over 100,000+ reviews from customers globally, with an average rating of 4.7 (out of 5),” states Dhvanil.

Early this month, the startup raised $16 million in Series B funding led by Sofina, with participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital India and Jalaj Dani Family Office. 

“This fundraise gives us the fuel to build new capabilities, grow our team across our offices in the US and India, expand our reach, and take us one step closer to building an iconic brand that is loved by families around the world,” said Dhvanil.

With the Series B round, Skillmatics has raised close to $24 million, including a $6 million Series A round led by Sequoia Capital India in April 2021 and a $1.8 million Seed round in April 2019 led by Sequoia India’s Surge program. The company was started with an initial investment of Rs 20 lakh.

The startup is also looking at online/digital marketing and large-scale partnerships. The firm recently partnered with one of the largest restaurant chains in the US to do a co-branded launch of its products to create greater awareness about the brand. 

“There isn’t direct competition globally. Indirectly, we compete with incumbent brands like Hasbro, ThinkFun, Learning Resources, etc.,” says Dhvanil. 

(The story has been corrected to clarify that the rise in revenue was 200 percent, and not 15x as stated earlier)

Edited by Megha Reddy