Inventus Capital leads $17 mn funding round in PlayShifu

Inventus Capital leads $17 mn funding round in PlayShifu
From left) Co-founders Vivek Goyal and Dinesh Advani  |  Photo Credit: PlayShifu
6 Apr, 2021

Bengaluru-based MobilizAR Technologies, which runs augmented reality (AR) based toy maker PlayShifu, has raised $17 million in a Series B round of funding, led by Inventus Capital India.  

Inflexor Ventures joined the round as a new investor, while Chiratae Ventures and Bharat Innovation Fund also participated in the round, the company said in a statement.   

The announcement precedes the launch plan of eight products in 2021, said PlayShifu, which creates AR-enabled interactive educational games for children.  

“The fundraise follows the most successful year to date in the tech startup’s four-year history as the pandemic has led a majority of parents look at devices and technology as educational tools too,” the statement said.  

In July 2019, PlayShifu had raised $7 million in a Series A round of funding, led by Chiratae Ventures.  

Including the latest round, the company has raised $29 million till date, as per VCCEdge data.   

Queries sent to PlayShifu on how it plans to use the fresh funds did not elicit a response at the time of publishing this report.  

The startup, founded in 2016 by Dinesh Advani and Vivek Goyal, helps parents convert their children’s screen time into meaningful phygital play – the interaction of tactile toys with a digital device -- combined with gamifying early learning skills.   

The play experiences are specially designed for kids aged between four and 12. The products are available in more than 35 countries through online marketplaces and brick-and-mortar locations.   

PlayShifu claims that its three series of products -- Orboot, Plugo and Tacto -- have witnessed repeat purchase rate of more than 43%.   

Last year, the company saw a 150% year-over-year growth in revenue for the third consecutive year. It also nearly doubled its team of 60 in 2019 to 115 members in 2020, and continues to grow further. It claims to have more than doubled its user base from 2,50,000 in 2019 to 6,00,000 in 2020.  

“With screen time for children ages four to nine averaging as high as five hours per day, we have a responsibility to help kids develop their early-learning skills in this digital age. Our products offer rich and variable content that engages children ten times better than the top 25 apps worldwide. We plan to expand our product range from 12 to 30 products to cover over 20 early-learning skills by 2022,” co-founder Goyal said.