Edtech Platform WeSkill Aquires USD 400K from Swadharma Source Ventures

As part of its pre-seed round of funding, WeSkill (JAP Edutainment Private Limited), an online platform that enables live and interactive extracurricular learning for children with a commitment to democratising holistic education through technology, has acquired more than USD 400K from reputable angel investors and syndicates. Shrishti Sahu of Swadharma Source Ventures ("SSV") led the round, which included prominent angel investors such as Umang Vohra (MD and Global CEO, Cipla), Arpan Sheth (Senior Partner, Bain & CompanyHead of India Private Equity at PAG), Renu Satti (COO, Paytm), Soonicon LLP (Managed by Former Fitso Founder’s), Narendra Rathi (Investments VP, SoftBank Vision Fund) , ), Nikhil Srivastava (Partner and MD, Raj Shastri (ex-Partner, Kaizenvest), , Mayank Gupta (Co-founder, Zopper), Aditya Pittie (CEO, Pittie Enterprises Group), Sayan Ghosh (VC at International Finance Corporation), Rajesh Razdan (Co-founder, Devtron Labs), and IIT Madras professors among others.

WeSkill was founded in November 2020 by three IIM Ahmedabad alumni, Shaurya Joshi, Praneet Agarwal, andShashank Patidar, with the goal of addressing the problem of children's lack of access to extracurricular activities and infrastructure. All three founders have impressive academic and professional backgrounds, but they grew up in an environment where extracurricular learning was broken. Shaurya is a National Law University graduate who formerly worked at Bira91 in operations and strategy. Shashank is an IIT Bombay graduate who previously worked in operations at Ola and in ed-tech consulting at Praxis Global, where he witnessed the growing demand from parents. Praneet is an IIT Delhi graduate who has previously worked with Paytm and Bain & Company as a consultant.

Shashank Patidar, Co-Founder of WeSkill, commented on the funding said, “when I was working in an ed-tech consulting, I would interview a lot of parents who found a lack of access to high-quality extra-curricular learning to be a major setback and were seeking a solution. This reminded me of my childhood of having grown up in a non-metro city, where there was a lack of focus on holistic development for children. Through our solution, we wanted to empower students to access this opportunity to learn.”

WeSkill Co-Founder Shaurya Joshi added, “when we started WeSkill, we did not anticipate such a high demand coming from all parts of the country. However, consistently high NPS and retention numbers from learners, our courses, delivered in 6 different languages, indicate a universal demand for solutions which provide long term learning opportunities and can be accessed from a safe space and at a convenient time.”

Praneet Agarwal, WeSkill's Co-Founder, added, “right from the beginning, we were clear that building a scalable tech-based learning solution will be a key imperative for us to solve the access problem while ensuring an interactive and engaging learning experience. The incumbent learning solutions for activities like dance are either through "massive, but passive" channels like Youtube or "intimate, but sub-scale" channels like offline classes and thus we built our product strategy to solve this problem.”

Shristhi Sahu of SSV explained her motivation for making this investment, “within edtech, the extracurricular segment in India is already a $5.8 billion market in 2021, and continues to expand at an 18% CAGR. The team is aggressively gaining market share by compounding 20% m-o-m in this large market by a product first approach backed by solid execution and obsession with customers. They have built a superior learning environment and have the potential to revolutionize extracurricular learning for the masses and build the most recognizable and scalable brand for kids and parents.”

Through live online and interactive classes offered by professionally experienced instructors, the WeSkill platform presently provides courses and workshops in a variety of activities such as Dance, Music, Arts, and Chess. They've also recently released an Android app with self-paced dance learning modules, allowing students to learn to dance while receiving real-time feedback from computer vision and AI.

More than 40K parents have enrolled in their courses since its debut, and the platform has successfully delivered more than 1.5 million learner minutes of online sessions. The WeSkill platform is already utilised and appreciated by a dynamic community of parents and learners from 800+ cities across India, with an 80% month-over-month retention rate. The team is made up of 25 full-time workers, including seasoned educational technology operators, former founders, and seasoned tech experts.

WeSkill's long-term goal is to become a one-stop shop where learners may "Learn new activities, share and compete with peers all around the world." By December 2024, the company hopes to have nurtured and grown a community of more than 5 million happy learners, as well as launch new course categories to help the next generation gain 21st century skills.