PlayShifu, an early learning toy company teaching foundational skills through physical and digital play, has raised $17 million in Series B in a round led by Inventus Capital India, with Inflexor Ventures joining as a new investor, and existing investors Chiratae Ventures and Bharat Innovation Fund also participating.

The four-year-old start-up said it was founded to help parents convert their children’s screen time into meaningful ‘phygital play’ – the interaction of tactile toys with a digital device combined with gamifying early learning skills, via its three products, Orboot, Plugo and Tacto.

With offices in the US and Bangalore, PlayShifu products are available in more than 35 countries through online marketplaces including Amazon and retail outlets including Sam’s Club, BestBuy, Argos, Toys‘R’Us, Hamleys, Virgin Media, and Rakuten.

PlayShifu said it plans eight product launches this year and aims to expand its product portfolio from 12 to 30 products to cover 20 early learning skills by next year.

PlayShifu’ s co-founder and chief executive Vivek Goyal said: “We are proud of our team for their incredible achievements during the pandemic and while working remote for an entire year, resulting in a successful Series B to help take the brand to new heights in 2021 and beyond. With screen time for children ages four-to-nine as high as five hours on an average per day, we have a responsibility to help kids develop their early learning skills in the digital age. Our products offer rich, variable content that engages children 10 times better than the top 25 apps in the US, and we look forward to launching a number of new products over the next 18 months.”

PlayShifu co-founder Dinesh Advani added: “As PlayShifu continues to introduce new products to further the development of early learning skills for Generation Alpha, we’re proud to partner with a number of reputable retailers around the world to diversify our reach. Following our extremely successful partnership launch with Walmart’s Sam’s Club, we’re excited to team up with additional US retailers in 2021 and beyond to help kids build foundational, STEAM skills through fun.”

Date published: 8 April 2021

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