WeSkill (JAP Edutainment Private Limited), an online platform that enables live and interactive extracurricular learning for children with a commitment to democratizing holistic education by leveraging technology, has raised more than USD 400K from reputed angel investors and syndicates, as part of its pre-seed round of funding. The round was led by Shrishti Sahu from Swadharma Source Ventures (“SSV”) and was supported by premier angels such Umang Vohra (MD and Global CEO, Cipla), Arpan Sheth (Senior Partner, Bain & Company), Nikhil Srivastava (Partner and MD, Head of India Private Equity at PAG), Renu Satti (COO, Paytm), Narendra Rathi (Investments VP, SoftBank Vision Fund) , Raj Shastri (ex-Partner, Kaizenvest), Sayan Ghosh (VC at International Finance Corporation) , Soonicon LLP (Managed by Former Fitso Founder’s), Mayank Gupta (Co-founder, Zopper), Aditya Pittie (CEO, Pittie Enterprises Group), Rajesh Razdan (Co-founder, Devtron Labs), and IIT Madras professors among others.
Founded by three IIM Ahmedabad alumni, Shaurya Joshi, Shashank Patidar, and Praneet Agarwal, in November 2020, WeSkill was started with the aim of solving the problem of inadequate access and infrastructure to extracurricular activities for children. All three founders come with prolific academic and professional backgrounds but have themselves witnessed the broken extra-curricular learning landscape while growing up. Shaurya is a National Law university alumnus and has previously worked in operations and strategy at Bira91. Shashank is an IIT Bombay alumnus who has previously worked in operations in Ola and in ed-tech consulting at Praxis Global where he saw this growing demand from parents. Praneet is an IIT Delhi alumnus who has previously worked at Paytm and was a consultant at Bain & Company.
Speaking on the funding, Shashank Patidar, Co-Founder of WeSkill 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.”
“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” added Shaurya Joshi, Co-Founder of WeSkill.
Commenting further, Praneet Agarwal, Co-Founder of WeSkill said, “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.”
Speaking about her reasons behind this investment, Shristhi Sahu from SSV said, “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.”
The WeSkill platform currently offers courses and workshops for a wide variety of activities like Dance, Music, Arts and Chess, through live online and interactive classes delivered by professionally trained instructors. They have also recently launched their Android app with self-paced learning dance modules which enable students to learn to dance with real-time feedback powered by computer vision and AI.
Since its inception, more than 40K parents have signed up for their courses and the platform has successfully delivered more than 1.5 million learner minutes of online classes. With an 80% month-on-month retention, the WeSkill platform is already used and loved by a vibrant community of parents and learners from 800+ cities across India. The team consists of 25 full-time members which include seasoned ed-tech operators, former founders and experienced tech professionals.
The long-term vision is to build WeSkill as a one-stop platform where the learners can “Learn new activities, share and compete with peers across the world”. By December 2024, the company plans to nurture and build a community of more than 5 Million happy learners and launch new course categories for developing 21st century skills among the next generation.