On Tuesday, Augmented-Reality startup PlayShifu announced that the company raised $17 million (nearly Rs 125 crore) in a Series B round with a valuation at Rs 480-500 crore. PlayShifu helps the children develop foundational skills through physical and digital play.
The investor round was led by Inventus Capital, including the other investors like Inflexor Ventures, Chiratae Ventures, and Bharat Innovation Fund.
In Series A, Chiratae Ventures (formerly IDG Ventures India) and Bharat Innovation Fund (BIF) were also the participants.
Vivek Goyal and Dinesh Advani, graduates of Stanford GSB and IIT Kharagpur, PlayShifu, In the year 2016 founded PlayShifu intending to create engaging and immersive AR experiences for children that builds early STEM skills.
Its three series of products – Orboot, Plugo, and Tacto, are the top-recommended brand by parents, as justiﬁed by a repeat purchase rate of more than 43 per cent, the company claims. As per data intelligence firm, Morning Consult, the pandemic has opened up the majority of parents (62 per cent) to resort to devices and technology as educational tools.
“We are proud of our team for their incredible achievements during the pandemic while working remotely for an entire year. The effort translated into a successful Series B to help take the brand to new heights in 2021 and beyond,” said Vivek Goyal, CEO and Co-founder.
He further added, “With screen time for children ages 4 to 9 averaging as high as ﬁve hours per day, we have a responsibility to help kids develop their early-learning skills in this digital age. Our products offer rich and variable content that engages children 10 times better than the top 25 apps worldwide. We plan to expand our product range from 12 to 30 products to cover over 20 early-learning skills by 2022.”
Last year, the company witnessed a 150% year-over-year growth in revenue for the third consecutive year. It nearly doubled its workforce from 60 team members in 2019 to 115 team members in 2020.
With the last fundings, it can be concluded that the company is planning for an expansion of its product portfolio from 12 products to 30 products to cover all 20 early learning skills by 2022. In addition, PlayShifu has also increased the online and retail presence. “Due to several new global brick-and-mortar and eCommerce partnerships, the brand is now available in 35 countries, a rapid expansion from just 15 countries in 2019,” read the statement.
“As PlayShifu continues to introduce new products to further the development of early learning skills for Generation Alpha, we’re proud to partner with many reputable retailers around the world to diversify our reach,” said PlayShifu Co-founder Dinesh Advani. “Following our extremely successful partnership launch with Walmart’s Sam’s Club, we’re excited to team up with additional U.S. retailers in 2021 and beyond to help kids build foundational, STEAM skills through fun.”