Edtech Startup PlayShifu Raises $7 Million to Bring AR to Every Classroom

July 29, 2019
Written by Folake Dosu

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Augmented reality (AR) is headed to the classroom. As reported earlier by VentureBeat, PlayShifu has secured $7 million to pioneer immersive AR experiences for kids to foster science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning.

Chiratae (formerly IDG Ventures India), Inventus Capital and BIF led the round. The company has raised a total of $8.5 million to date.

PlayShifu, based in Bangalore, India and the Bay Area, plans to use this latest round of capital to develop “phygital” (physical and digital) interactions, update current products and more than double its global retail footprint.

“We are extremely excited to have investors onboard who are highly focused on consumer tech, in our journey to make early learning fun and accessible to children around the world. We have an exhaustive product pipeline, an incessantly creative and passionate team of innovators, and now, the right partners to make an extremely positive impact on the educational foundations of generations to come.”

“We are extremely excited to have investors onboard who are highly focused on consumer tech, in our journey to make early learning fun and accessible to children around the world,” said PlayShifu CEO Vivek Goyal in a statement. “We have an exhaustive product pipeline, an incessantly creative and passionate team of innovators, and now, the right partners to make an extremely positive impact on the educational foundations of generations to come.”

PlayShifu’s Shifu Orboot is an AR-based globe that puts continent-leaping adventures at kids’ fingertips. So far, over 100,000 kids in the U.S. have used this flagship product, which is geared to children ages four to eight. Top kids’ apps and toys retain roughly 8% of kids after the first month, but Orboot’s user base has a notable retention of more than 40% in the second month.

Orboot 2.0, set to launch soon, will be more robust, adhering to Common Core principles and offering student profiles and progress tracking, teachers’ portal and detailed lesson plans. The company said it is preparing to enter 2000 schools this year. PlayShifu points to its retail presence in Canada, Poland, Germany, Dubai, Japan and India as evidence of its international appeal.

“We are experiencing incredible demand from international markets across the world, purely due to the reason that our innovative products make early learning agnostic to markets and languages. Our products make an instant connection with kids and parents alike,” said chief operating officer Dinesh Advani in a statement. “We now have the tools at our disposal to execute against an even more impactful retail strategy and presence, while we continue to strengthen our position as the segment leader and disruptor in the edtech space.”

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