Inflection Point Ventures leads seed round in Bengaluru-based Playto Labs

Bengaluru-based edtech startup Playto Labs today announced it has raised over Rs 4 crore in a seed funding round led by Inflection Point Ventures, one of India’s largest angel investment platforms.

The round also saw individual participation from partners of the upcoming fund Disruptors Capital, including Raj Snehil Juneja (Chief Investment Officer), Krishna Kumar (Founder, Simplilearn), Kunal Walia (Founder, Simpliwork), Shashwat Kumar (Managing Partner, Khetal Advisors), and entrepreneurs including Tonmoy Shingal and Ketan Kapoor (Founders, Mettl), Sachin Sharma (Founder, Townscript), Rajesh Razdan (Founder, Devtron Labs) and Kuldeep Dhankar (SVP, CleverTap) among others.

Launched in 2020 by IIT Kanpur graduate Pavan Ponnaganti to help students become future-ready through hands-on learning. 

Playto Labs has a combination of hardware toys and online 1-1 sessions with teachers who act as facilitators. Their pedagogy makes students feel like they are playing vs studying and helps them become creative and innovative problem solvers.

According to Playto, the raised funding will be used in building a strong team and expanding its customer base. With Playto Labs, parents are excited to see their children develop curiosity and confidence towards science and technology by building innovative projects in hands-on, highly engaging modules, the startup said in a statement.

“Toys are a great way of learning for kids. My daughter (3 yo) has learned many things just by playing with toys, although she hasn’t gone to pre-school due to Covid. But toys are unable to keep up with the learning needs of children as they grow up after 7 years of age. As a result, kids only depend on their school to learn,” Pavan Ponnaganti, Founder & CEO, Playto Labs, said.

“Through Playto Labs, we are building products to address this and make play a more relevant learning method for kids above 7 years. The goal is to make kids truly enjoy science and tech, and we believe that is how the real innovators of the future will emerge. We currently offer Robotics products for kids, and we are delighted with the feedback we have been receiving from students and parents across the globe. We are launching more products soon.”, he adds.

Within a year of launching, Playto Labs claims that its products for kids already have paying customers from 33 countries, and have witnessed strong month-on-month growth.

With the number of students in India studying in grades, 1-7 joins online learning (soon to cross 40 million), Playto Labs expects strong demand for highly engaging products that kids love and will make them future-ready. In addition, Playto Labs also sees an excellent response for its products in the overseas markets. Globally, the educational toys market is expected to reach $34B by 2025 as per a report by Orbis Research, it said.

Speaking on the investment, Vinay Bansal, Founder & CEO, Inflection Point Ventures, said:

“Our children are growing in the age of technology and get comfortable with using gadgets much before they learn to speak. Playto model is helping parents and their children to harness technology in a much more positive way where kids are learning something new and keeping themselves engaged in a constructive manner. Given the technology exposure in India, this is a booming market which got us interested in backing Playto.”

Jignesh Kenia, Lead Investor, Inflection Point Ventures adds, “The penetration of technology in the country has helped kids learn sooner than their age. Playto Labs is helping kids learn robotics with the right blend of toys, personal facilitators, and gamification. Every assignment helps them connect to a real-life case study and that’s really exciting. The concept is to make kids ready for the future, especially in the areas of product development and engineering.

“Engaging with these assignments, the startup is helping kids develop practical skills, which have today become extremely important along with their schooling. This unique approach increased our confidence to back Playto Labs.”

This is IPV’s 34th deal for 2021; likely to invest Rs 155 crore across 60 plus startups. Previously, It had invested in Mentza, Endimension, Shadez, Streak, Neuropixel.ai, among several others. IPV has so far invested Rs 269 crore across 95 deals.

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