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Kutuki Raises $2.2 Mn In Seed Round Led By Omidyar Network India Funds will be used to help expand the content library beyond the four Indian languages currently on the platform

By Prabhjeet Bhatla

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Bengaluru-based early learning platform Kutuki, catering to 3-7 years old children, announced on Wednesday to have raised $2.2 million in a seed funding round led by Omidyar Network India. AET and existing angel investors Better Capital, First Cheque, and Abhishek Nag also participated.

The company will use the funds for expanding the content library to cover all major Indian languages, create a more immersive learning experience for children, and expand their reach, especially in tier-II cities and beyond.

"India has the largest population of preschoolers globally, yet early learning remains vastly underserved. Our endeavor from inception has been to create meaningful and tangible impact through engaging, interactively animated, and illustrated content in a format that Indian children love. We will be utilizing the funds to enhance and personalize the Kutuki experience, strengthen our technology and content backbone and also provide deeper insights to parents," said Bharath Bevinahally, co-founder, Kutuki.

Co-founded by Bharath Bevinahally and Sneha Sundaram in 2019, the interactive learning app is built on a proprietary story and rhyme-based curriculum focusing on language including phonics and foundational literacy, numeracy, life skills, STEM, and general knowledge.

"From our early days, it was clear to us that one of the foundational issues with early learning in India was the lack of context, structure, and localization in the content and products available to Indian children. With our popular characters Kutu, Ki and Minku, we are seeing a strong connection - kids identify with them because the characters look, talk, act like them, and are essentially representing Indian values and ethos. Everything we do at Kutuki has a learning outcome attached to it and that has helped us build trust with parents quickly," shared Sneha Sundaram, co-founder, Kutuki.

The platform currently offers content in four Indian languages, besides English—Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, and Marathi—and is widely used across India and overseas.

"The early years are known to be the most critical in the development of a child. With its engaging and interactive content delivered across media including its app, YouTube, and even TV, Kutuki is delivering quality learning for young children across income segments. By making its content available in vernacular languages, Kutuki is catering to a large unserved market of local language speaking families including the 500 million or so users coming online for the first time, often referred to as the Next Half Billion. We are excited to back the Kutuki team on its mission to impact millions of young learners over the coming years," stated Sarvesh Kanodia, principal, Omidyar Network India.

In October 2020, the platform launched live classes for Phonics and Math to strong positive feedback from parents across the country.

"I am extremely delighted to learn about the funding round for Kutuki – winners of App Innovation Challenge on MyGov in Education Category. It's one of the most innovative Apps for Early education and is kid-friendly by design and is aligned with the vision of the New Education Policy with regard to bridging the learning gaps with a strong focus on imparting foundational numeracy and literacy incorporating Indian traditions, values, and languages in cultural settings familiar to Indian children. I wish the very best to Bharath and Sneha – the founders of Kutuki," commented Abhishek Singh, president and chief executive officer, National e-Governance Division.

Kutuki was also a winner of the Aatmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge conducted by the Indian government and was mentioned by PM Narendra Modi in his Mann ki Baat address in August for their India-focused approach to early learning.

Prabhjeet Bhatla

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