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Edtech startup AvalonMeta gets funding from blockchain firm Peerplays, others
L to R: Varun Mayya, Shashank Udupa, and Abhinav Arora, co-founders, AvalonMeta

AvalonMeta Ventures Pvt. Ltd, a startup combining education and gaming, on Tuesday said it has raised $420,000 (around Rs 3 crore) led by a blockchain-based gaming company Peerplays.

Purvi Capital, a Chicago-based venture capital firm, and Abhinav Chhikara, former design head of Unacademy, have also pooled in capital, said AvalonMeta in a statement.

Avalon Labs, the parent company of AvalonMeta, is also investing equity-free capital of up to $250,000 (Rs 1.8 crore) into the startup, it added.

AvalonMeta was founded by Varun Mayya, Shashank Udupa, and Abhinav Arora.

The startup says it is a hybrid between an education and gaming company. It taps into influencers on social media to teach its users things it says are more practical, such as personal finance and design. Mayya, who is also the chief executive, said that the firm is not looking to compete with ed-tech startups that are offering academic courses online.

AvalonMeta has gathered over 50 million impressions across various platforms since its soft launch in December 2018, it said.

Mayya, an alumnus of of Manipal Institute of Technology, had earlier co-founded hiring portal Jobspire that had attracted VC funding including from Purvi Capital in 2015. In 2017, Jobspire was acquired by New York-based interviewing platform JustCode for an undisclosed amount.

The money Mayya reaped from the sale of Jobspire was used to start Avalon Labs, which invests and provides business services to technology companies. Avalon Labs' investments include B2B sales automation company Foxbound and digital networking firm Mana Network.

Udupa, who did his masters in international management from Strathclyde Business School, earlier worked at IIFL Management and has floated a couple of ventures. Arora, a graduate of Manipal Institute of Technology, also has had a brush with entrepreneurship before.

Mayya said that he, along with Udupa and Arora, has moved from Avalon Labs full-time to manage the startup.

Avalon Labs will be overseen by Varun Suresh along with some others.

There has been quite a significant investor interest in startups that are combining education and gaming to attract users.

Last year, Nazara Technologies Ltd acquired a majority stake in Paper Boat Apps Pvt. Ltd, a Mumbai-based edutainment studio.

Venture capital firm Chiratae Ventures led a Series A funding round in Bengaluru-based educational toymaker PlayShifu last year.

Bengaluru-based gamified learning startup Knudge.me had raised an undisclosed sum from the Indian Angel Network in 2018.

In the larger ed-tech space, the most heavily funded startup is Byju's, which is part of the unicorn club of startups valued at $1 billion or more.

Toppr, Unacademy and Vedantu are among other ed-tech startups that have also raised significant funding.

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