FIITJEE-backed ed-tech startup PlanetSpark pockets pre-Series A cheque
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PlanetSpark, a Gurugram-based gamified learning solutions startup, has raised Rs 3.2 crore ($448,800) as part of its pre-Series A round of funding.

The capital was raised from three angel networks, the Indian Angel Network, Lead Angels and Hyderabad Angels, PlanetSpark said in a statement.

Existing investor FIITJEE, the test preparation company backed by venture capital firm Matrix Partners India, also participated in the round, it added.

FIITJEE had first invested in the ed-tech startup in December 2018.

The startup will use the funds to expand its business into new geographies and increase enrolments by 10x over the next 12-15 months, the statement added.

Delhi-based CENSIE Capital Partners was the adviser to PlanetSpark for this transaction.

PlanetSpark, operated by Winspark Innovations Learning Pvt Ltd, was founded in 2016 by former executives of UrbanClap and Hindustan Unilever Kunal Malik and Manish Dhooper. It combines online learning with an offline experience for young children in grades K-8 through its in-house learning products.

“Pure online learning through videos is passive and suffers from very poor completion rates,” said Kunal Malik, co-founder at PlanetSpark. The presence of a dedicated space, time and a mentor is essential for young kids to learn effectively, he added.

The company operates in an asset-light model of partnering with unutilized assets in pre-schools and schools. It also has stitched a strategic partnership with companies such as Oyo Townhouse, part of hospitality chain Oyo, to set up its neighbourhood centres.  

Deals in the ed-tech segment

The larger ed-tech segment in India has been the object of investor attention over the last few years. The most heavily funded startup is Byju's, which is part of the unicorn club of startups to be valued at $1 billion.

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

Just last week, interactive online tutoring platform Vedantu Innovations Pvt. Ltd has raised $24 million as part of an extension of its Series C round of funding led by GGV Capital.

Last month, Gurugram-based DoubtNut raised $15 million in its Series A round of funding led by Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings. Sequoia's Surge was an early investor in DoubtNut.

Also last month, growth-stage investor Iron Pillar led a Rs 60-crore (around $8.3 million) Series B round in Testbook, which operates a platform focused on government examination preparations.

In January, DSG Consumer Partners and Blume Ventures co-led an investment in Leverage EdTech Pvt. Ltd, which operates university admissions-focussed startup Leverage Edu.

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