PlayShifu announced today a $7 million Series A round of funding led by Chiratae (formerly IDG Ventures India), Inventus Capital, and BIF.
A leader in the field of creating immersive AR experiences for children that encourage early STEM skills, PlayShifu has an aggressive strategic plan in place to expand on its tech capacities with this round of funding.
With $8.5 million raised to date, the company’s main focus will remain tech innovation, continued research on unique phygital interactions, and new product developments. PlayShifu also plans to update its current products significantly and expand its retail presence from 15 countries to more than 30 countries into 2020 and beyond.
“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 Vivek Goyal, CEO and co-founder of Playshifu. “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 first flagship product, Shifu Orboot, is an AR-based globe that promises an adventure around the world. The user base has crossed 100,000 kids in the U.S. and has seen engagement among 4- to 8-year-olds. Orboot also boasts more than 40 percent of kids retained in the second month of use.
In less than a year, teachers and technology integrators from 28 different states in the U.S. discovered PlayShifu via social media and Amazon and experimented with adopting the innovative products in their iPad-enabled classrooms. Today, more than 65 percent of these teachers use Orboot every week in their classes. With Orboot 2.0 launching soon (common core aligned, student profiles and progress tracking, teachers’ portal, detailed lesson plans), PlayShifu predicts this engagement will only increase as it prepares to enter 2,000 schools this year.
Shifu Plugo, its newest product, combines the play of classic physical consoles with new-age digital interactions. The physical consoles bring to life the alphabet, math, engineering, music, steering, and more.
With two consoles available today, PlayShifu plans to introduce four more by the end of 2019 (starts at $49.99 for a console and a gamepad). PlayShifu currently has managed a deep-rooted retail presence in key markets and countries around the world including Canada, Poland, Germany, Dubai, Japan, and India.
“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 Dinesh Advani, co-founder and COO. “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 ed-tech space.”
Founded in 2016, PlayShifu has offices in Bay Area and Bangalore, India.