Kutuki, an early learning platform catering to 3-7 year-old children has raised Rs 16 crore ($2.2mn) in a Seed round which was led by Omidyar Network India. AET and existing angel investors Better Capital, First Cheque and Abhishek Nag also participated. Kutuki will use the funds for expanding the content library to cover all major Indian languages, create a more immersive learning experience for children and to expand their reach, especially in Tier-2 cities and beyond.
Kutuki, founded by Bharath Bevinahally and Sneha Sundaram was launched in 2019. Their interactive learning app is built on a proprietary story and rhyme based curriculum focusing on language (including phonics and foundational literacy), numeracy, life skills, STEM, and general knowledge.
The platform currently offers content in four Indian languages, besides English – Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Marathi and is widely used across India and overseas. In October 2020, Kutuki launched live classes for Phonics and Maths to strong positive feedback from parents across the country.
“India has the largest population of preschoolers globally, yet early learning remains vastly underserved. Our endeavour from inception has been to create meaningful and tangible impact through engaging, interactive animated and illustrated content in a format that Indian children love. We will be utilizing the funds to enhance and personalize the Kutuki experience, strengthen our technology and content backbone and also provide deeper insights to parents” says Bharath.
“From our early days, it was clear to us that one of the foundational issues with early learning in India was the lack of context, structure and localisation in the content and products available to Indian children. With our popular characters Kutu, Ki and Minku, we are seeing a strong connect – kids identify with them because the characters look, talk, act like them and are essentially representing Indian values and ethos. Everything we do at Kutuki has a learning outcome attached to it and that has helped us build trust with parents quickly” says Sneha.
“The early years are known to be the most critical in the development of a child. With its engaging and interactive content delivered across media including its app, YouTube and even TV, Kutuki is delivering quality learning for young children across income segments. By making its content available in vernacular languages, Kutuki is catering to a large unserved market of local language speaking families including the 500 million or so users coming online for the first time, often referred to as the Next Half Billion. We are excited to back the Kutuki team on its mission to impact millions of young learners over the coming years,” said Sarvesh Kanodia, Principal at Omidyar Network India.
Kutuki was also a winner of the Aatmanirbhar App Innovation Challenge conducted by the Indian government and was mentioned by PM Modi in his Mann ki Baat address in August for their India focused approach to early learning.
Speaking on the development, Abhishek Singh, President and CEO, National e-Governance Division said, “I am extremely delighted to learn about the funding round for Kutuki – winners of App Innovation Challenge on MyGov in Education Category. It’s one of the most innovative Apps for Early education and is kid friendly by design and is aligned with the vision of the New Education Policy with regard to bridging the learning gaps with a strong focus on imparting foundational numeracy and literacy incorporating Indian traditions, values and languages in cultural settings familiar to Indian children. I wish the very best to Bharath and Sneha – the founders of Kutuki,”