India’s first full-stack English learning platform fREADom closes $2.5 mn through Bridge funding round
New Delhi,: Stones2Milestones’s fREADom, India’s first comprehensive English learning platform today announced the closing of Bridge funding of USD 2.5 Million. The round was led by Unreasonable, and its LP Goldhirsh Foundation. A leading Investment Banker from Singapore along with a few marquee lawyers led the angel investment share in this round along with three angel platforms AngelList US syndicate, LetsVenture and FaaD Network. The company’s current investor, Unreasonable Capital from the US were the first ones to put in their capital right after lockdown for acceleration. Several other institutions are participating in the Company in the past financing rounds including Menterra Ventures, Caspian Impact, GodSpeed Ventures, Astir Ventures to name a few.
In India itself, of the 320 million school-going children, an estimated 9 out of 10 children read below-grade levels. In a country where learning in the English medium has been growing and continues to grow at 25% CAGR, it’s important and urgent to solve this problem.
Based on research spanning over a decade with global education houses of repute, Stones2Milestones has created fREADom – India’s ultimate English learning platform for children aged 3-12. fREADom provides an opportunity to strengthen their English reading, speaking, and conversation skills. It aims to help close the global literacy gap and touch 10 million children by 2021. It intends to be the world’s English OS (Operating System) for the education ecosystem upon which every other subject is layered, for countries where English is the 2nd language yet an aspirational language.
Kavish Gadia, Co-Founder & CEO, Stones2Milestones said, “Ten years ago when we started our research under this mission, we were thinking of solving that one specific challenge in education which is a silver bullet for generations to come – English as a preferred language in countries where English is non-native. Even today in an environment where more than 50% of the world is learning English as a second language and this segment is growing fast, we are now scaling our solution fast to reach 10 million within the next 12-18 months. With a product that’s working for 200,000 plus users, a profitable business model and a mission-aligned passionate leadership team, this round of capital is well-timed for fueling growth. The majority of the first time adopters of EdTech post-Covid belong to the primary school years that we serve and it’s a wonderment for these users to experience the power of technology – making a strong case for them to stick independently of the pandemic. Alongside growth, a significant share of this round would continue to be invested to further strengthen our moat with investments in technology innovation, AI/ML and product.
Ashok Reddy, Partner at Unreasonable Capital – “Project Literacy Lab (PLL) is one of our flagship initiatives through which we look at identifying the most impactful scalable ventures to solve the global literacy challenge by 2030. Our first experience of Stones2Milestones in PLL 2017 was a clear validation of a company solving this problem based on their own life experiences and decade long research. Their commitment to solve this rapidly for the world with their EdTech solutions is why we invested as the first institution to accelerate the journey”
Since January 2020, fREADom has 15x in terms of taking its user base close to 200,000. The Company is at annualized revenue of $1.5 million and expects ARR to cross $7.5 million by March 2021. Based on the last 6 months of 100% month-on-month revenue growth, the Company is on track to hit this target without even a Series A close. The Company has initiated its next raise of $5-8 million and two of the current investors have confirmed participating in this round as well.
Piyush Shah, Co-founder at InMobi loves spending time with this team since he invested, said “The world’s biggest social challenges have the power to change the world and it needs the best team. This team’s commitment to the chosen mission with extreme ownership and their belief that they have to operate as a great Institution in terms of best practices from day zero is what sets them apart. With that, they have been able to build a world-class product that integrates pedagogy, data science, joyful learning experience delivering a promise to children – truly an Operating System to solve for English as a second language across the globe”
Currently, fREADom is the only vertically integrated pedagogy stack for learning English as a second language and the Company will continue to invest in tech-first strategies to further disrupt this space. The new investment would only be giving them more edge on becoming the Gold Standard for solving the problem of transforming how children learn.