SplashLearn, an edtech company focused on learning through games, has raised $18 million in a Series C round.
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The idea behind SplashLearn is to make learning a rewarding experience for a child, according to CEO Arpit Jain. The company is aiming to replace books and videos with game-based learning, and has more than 4,000 games in its system.
“The way we have built the product, we have done a lot of research on these games to make sure there’s a high degree of engagement and a high learning outcome,” Jain said in an interview with Crunchbase News.
SplashLearn isn’t Jain’s first foray into edtech — the founders of the company previously co-founded an edtech startup for the high school market.
“We realized a few things, the problem with learning, it starts happening at a very early age,” Jain said. “Kids are born curious … but in some ways a lot of schools kill your creativity, the way they’re teaching. Like math, a lot of kids are asked to memorize math facts.”
The founders sat outside of coaching centers and spoke to parents, and realized that many students didn’t like math. They started researching teaching methods and, according to Jain, found that the biggest innovation since books was video-based learning. Both tended to be one-way learning methods.
SplashLearn’s games are aimed at students between pre-kindergarten and fifth grade. The games associate learning concepts with characters, Jain said.
The new funding will be used to expand SplashLearn’s presence in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, and grow the company’s group tutoring product, which it launched last year.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put edtech in the spotlight as students have been forced to learn virtually. That’s caused many to fall behind, Jain said, and increased demand for tutoring services.
“After the pandemic, I think the need for tutoring has considerably increased and we’re seeing that with our numbers with more and more parents asking for it,” he said.
Education and edtech startups raised more than $485 million just last month, according to preliminary Crunchbase News data. In terms of the company’s place in the digital learning space, SplashLearn brings a “unique blend of scientifically designed curriculum and its pedagogical methods with global appeal,” OWL Ventures managing director Amit Patel said in a statement.
OWL Ventures led SplashLearn’s Series C, with participation from Accel, which led the company’s Series B round.
The company, previously known as Splash Math, also plans on growing its team and investing more money into its content. SplashLearn is based in San Francisco but its team of 230 people is in India, and the company plans to grow its headcount by 30 percent to 40 percent this year, Jain said.
The company has 40 million registered users, with 10 million joining in the past year. More than 750,000 teachers are registered from around the world.
Illustration: Dom Guzman
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