ah! Ventures invests in online game-based engagement learning startup, Shirsa Labs Shirsa Labs, an Ed-tech startup has raised $250,000 angel capital funding through ah! Ventures
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Founded in 2013 by Sukhada Tendulkar and Mandar Desai, Shirsa Labs uses online engagement platform "Planet of GUI' to entertain and educate children mainly in the age group of 6-13. Shirsa Labs is India's first dedicated content driven engagement learning platform for kids.
Shirsa aims to stimulate the intellectual and learning skills of children by using a healthy combination of online and offline interactive methods. It has multiple games, worksheets, videos, DIYs which engages kids and boosts their cognitive learning.
"In the larger context of children's growth and development, we strongly felt that there is a huge open space where significant value can be created for children, parents and educators. We have connected these points and want Shirsa Labs to be a collaborator in this exciting eco-system that must work together," explains Sukhada Tendulkar, Co-Founder & CEO of Shirsa Labs. Sukhada sees Shirsa Labs as a new category creator which she calls "enter-cation"; derived from "entertainment and education'.
Mandar Desai, Co-Founder & CFO of Shirsa Labs, further elucidates, "Parents can be assured that children are safe on our platforms. We have the best content from across the world. Child safety is our utmost priority. Our scalability and real life connect positions us uniquely to deliver significant value to the young ones. Through the online Economy, Children earn Geekos (the currency on the platform) which they spend to buy uniquely matched stuff from the platform. As we understand the child more on the platform through analytics, we generate insights and personalized recommendations for parents."
Kunal Ambasht, Director & COO, Shirsa Labs emphasizes on the fact that their team is an interesting cohort of artists, technologists, educators and business professionals who are driven by a common passion for providing equal opportunity for learning & development to children from a wide spectrum of social and economic background.
Shirsa has developed a multipronged approach to attract children using a personalized story-line, engage parents with quantified reporting and involve educational institutions with goal based co-curriculum lab solutions.
"Technology, smartphones, internet and data analytics are the most powerful tools at our disposal today. Used intelligently, they provide us an unprecedented opportunity for creating engaging products across multiple platforms and hence reaching out to millions," adds Manuel Fernandes, the Tech wizard at Shirsa Labs.
With its flagship product, "Planet of GUI' app, the startup is eyeing the entire global market. This is a global platform and team Shirsa is committed towards reaching its maximum potential.
Giving an investor's perspective, Harshad Lahoti, Founder & CEO of ah! Ventures says, "India has over 100 million students enrolled in K1- K8. Besides, evidence of increasing enrolment in private schools in rural India - from 18% in 2006 to 25% in 2011 to over 30% today - is proof enough that even rural India is exploring newer and innovative avenues of teaching and learning. This coupled with the fact that Shirsa has over 70,000+ registered students, access to over 2,000+ schools and unique content sharing partnership with the likes of NatGeo, Discovery and others have made a compelling case for investment. ah! Ventures is thrilled to be a part of this journey."
This $250,000 deal was concluded through ah! Ventures' private equity investment platform, CLUB ah!. CLUB ah! is India's first full-spectrum startup investment network and platform comprising of over 500 investors, including some of the renowned angels and early-stage VCs.
CLUB ah! platform today has over 4500+ startups, 465+ seed/angel investors and over 65 VCs & institutional investors, making it one of the largest platform of investors and startups. Recently, the network secured its first profitable exit from Ed-tech venture, Harness Handitouch, within 2 years of its investment. Till date, CLUB ah! has invested close to Rs 60 crores in over 20 startups spread across varied industries and domains, including Shirsa Labs.
Shirsa will be the second Ed-tech startup that ah! Ventures has invested in apart from iDreamCareer. Previously, they have also invested in many other Ed-tech ventures like LogicRoots, TestBook, uFaber and Harness Handitouch.