PlanetSpark, a Gurugram-based edtech startup that provides game-based blended learning for K-7 students, has raised Rs 3.2 crore Pre-series A funding from Indian Angel Network, Lead Angels and Hyderabad Angels.
The startup’s existing investor, India’s leading education company FIITJEE Limited, also participated in the latest funding round.
Founded in 2016 by XLRI Jamshedpur alumni Kunal Malik and Maneesh Dhooper, PlanetSpark provides neighborhood learning zones where children learn and develop all the ‘new age’ skills under one roof. It provides game-based blended learning which combines classroom teaching with technology, right in the kids’ neighborhood. PlanetSpark’s methodology draws inspiration from inquiry-based learning, child cognitive psychology, gamification and active learning pedagogy to craft learning experience designed for pre-teens in the format that they love and enjoy the most.
PlanetSpark 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 neighborhood blended-learning centers in a low cost and scalable manner. It aims to open neighborhood learning spaces in the top 30 cities in the country by 2022.
Speaking about the company and its offerings, Kunal Malik, Co-founder of PlanetSpark, said,
“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, Math, Science) and 21st century skills (coding, robotics, public speaking, etc) in the presence of a qualified teacher.”
The company said it will use the fresh funds to expand its business into new geographies and increase enrolments by 10x over the next 12-15 months.
Explaining further how its business operates, Maneesh Dhooper, Co-founder of PlanetSpark, said,
“Through 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.”
PlanetSpark claims to have more than 200 qualified teachers, 500+ engaging workbooks, 300+ mobile learning games, and over 1000 story-based learning videos. The startup believes every child can fall in love with learning, if they are taught the right way. PlanetSpark is recognized as 10 most promising education app by Silicon India Magazine in 2018.