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Mohandas Pai, others seed fund learning kits e-tailer Magic Crate

Magic-CrateFunfinity Learning Solutions Pvt Ltd, which runs a startup called Magic Crate that aids learning in children, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding in a round led by TV Mohandas Pai and Aarin Capital.

Narayanan Ramaswamy, head of education practice at consulting firm KPMG, and Sethuraman Sivaramakrishnan, India CEO of a leading multinational company, also participated in this round.

The new capital will be invested in expanding the product portfolio and ramping up the team and manufacturing, a statement from the company said.

Education is going through systemic disruption – whether it is on business models, delivery methodologies, pedagogical strategies, syllabus personalisation, or collaborative learning,” said Pranav Pai, who has invested on behalf of Mohandas Pai. “The early childhood learning challenge is not just a child-oriented problem, but one that is also driven by the need for parents to engage their children in the right manner.”

Pranav Pai is the son of Mohandas Pai.

Magic Crate offers learning kits for children in primary school, with subscription plans starting from Rs 499 a month. These theme-based activity kits, or crates, as they are called, range from building telescopes to setting up a farm, and are focused on fulfilling the educational needs of the child.

The company was earlier angel funded by Srikanth Iyer, former CEO of Pearson Education and venture partner at Unitus Seed Fund. He also serves as an advisor to the company.

The Bangalore-based startup was founded last year by Viswanathan R, an IIT-IIM alumnus who has earlier worked with TutorVista, and Karthik Lakshman, who holds a masters degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and has previously worked with Coca-Cola, GE, and HP.

In the activity-based learning aids segment, New Delhi-based Smartivity Labs Pvt Ltd, an online venture that deploys augmented reality and robotics for kids learning projects, has secured seed funding of $200,000 from educational textbook publisher S Chand and Co Pvt Ltd.

Mohandas Pai, chairman of venture capital firm Aarin Capital and educational and training services provider Manipal Global Education Services, is an active angel investor with a portfolio of over a dozen startups, including self-drive car rental Zoomcar and fitness startup GetActive. Earlier this week, he, along with Aarin Capital, invested in edtech startup Oust Labs Inc., a platform that helps students prepare for competitive exams using mobile gaming technology.

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