PlanetSpark bags INR 3.2 Cr Pre Series A from IAN, FIITJEE and others
PlanetSpark has announced to raise a follow-on Pre-Series A round of INR 3.2 Cr from Indian Angel Network, Lead Angels and Hyderabad Angels. Existing seed investor and one of India’s largest education companies, FIITJEE, also participated in this round, showing its faith in the company’s vision. Vikas Kuthiala and Nitin Zamre were the deal leads on behalf of IAN.
PlanetSpark provides neighborhood learning zones where children learn and develop all the 'new age' skills under one roof. It combines online learning with an offline experience for young children in grades K-8 through its in-house learning products. It operates in an asset-light model of partnering with unutilized assets in pre-schools, schools and strategic partners such as Oyo Townhouse to set up its neighbourhood blended-learning centres in a low cost and scalable manner.
Kunal Malik, Co-Founder, says, “Pure online learning through videos is passive and suffers from very poor completion rates. The presence of a dedicated space, time and a mentor is essential for young kids to learn effectively. Hence, we blend online with an offline experience at our neighbourhood learning spaces where kids can learn academic skills (English, Maths, Science) and 21st century skills (coding, robotics, public speaking etc) in the presence of a qualified teacher.”
The company will use the funds in expanding its business into new geographies and increasing enrolments by 10x over the next 12-15 months. According to a report by KPMG, Primary and Secondary Supplemental Education will be the largest online education category at 773 Million by 2021 and growing at CAGR of 60%. While the grade 9 to 12 market has seen a red ocean with numerous big players established in the market in the past 20 years, there has been no trusted brand in the K-8 space to cater to the needs of young parents looking to develop their kids.
Maneesh Dhooper, Co-founder, says, “Though our asset light model and an omnichannel approach, our acquisition costs go down considerably with time. As a Learning Zone grows, its brand builds in the area and it acts like a magnet to attract more students due to network effects, with a 42% referral rate. Due to our face to face interaction with children and learning analytics and live-feed system for parents, our engagement is very high, leading to 95% retention rates.”
The market for developing new age skills in young children is growing exponentially across the world, especially in China and the US to cater to the need to prepare children to be critical thinkers and problem solvers in an ever changing world. There is a growing trend towards using a Blended Learning model that combines online with offline. PlanetSpark is uniquely positioned to leverage its products and offline play to capture the market.