Former Discovery India head’s ed-tech startup raises $10 mn in series A funding

MUMBAI: Former Discovery India head Karan Bajaj’s ed-tech startup WhiteHat Jr has riased $10 million funding in Series A from existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Omidyar Network India. Owl Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based EdTech focused venture capital fund, is also part of the funding round.

Founded by Bajaj, White Hat Jr helps kids 6 to 14 build commercial-ready games, animations and apps online using the fundamentals of coding. The company which was started in November 2018, had earlier raised $1.3 million in seed funding from Nexus Venture Partners and Omidyar Network India.

WhiteHat Jr has developed their own original coding curriculum, which is centered on product creation, and imparts their lessons via 1:1 live, interactive online classes. The new funds will be used to strengthen their technology platform, expand the course curriculum as well as increase consumer awareness.

Over the past few months, WhiteHat Jr’s online platform has seen over 150,000 student trials, over 500 teachers onboard and 100% month-on-month student and revenue growth. The company conducts 1,000 online classes per day and has experienced resounding demand with all capacity regularly booked within an hour of being announced and maintaining a daily waitlist of 500 students.

Commenting on the development, WhiteHat Jr CEO Karan Bajaj said, “Our mission is to harness the natural creativity of kids and shift their mindset from an early age – from being consumers to creators of technology. It’s been heartening to see the projects of kids in the first 6 months of launch as they’re creating immensely creative, high utility digital applications that are bound to have a long-term impact.”

Nexus Venture Partners MD Anup Gupta said, “We have been privileged to partner with Karan from the concept stage of the company, and been very impressed with their execution and rapid growth. We are excited to strengthen our association with WhiteHat Jr’s mission of creating the next generation of innovators and thinkers.”

Owl Ventures MD Amit Patel said, “This is our second investment in India and WhiteHat Jr has created something that is unique, scalable and very relevant, not only in India but across other markets.”

Omidyar Network India Principal, Investments Namita Dalmia added, “We invested in WhiteHat Jr with an aim to improving cognitive skills and we’re heartened to see the impact of its curriculum on kids through improvements in creativity, concentration, and logical thinking as well as teachers who’re highly educated women tech professionals returning to the workforce.”

WhiteHat Jr currently offers four levels of courses – Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Professional – for students in grades 1-9. Kids create complex games, animations, and apps using logic, structure, sequence, commands and algorithmic thinking—in a live 1:1 online classroom. Early graduates of the course have created professional-ready apps downloadable on the App Store at ages as young as seven years old.

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