English Edtech Startup Freadom Raises $2.5M In Fresh Funding Round

The funding will be invested in product, distribution and to further strengthen Freadom’s vertical presence across stakeholders for English as a second language.

Freadom, India’s largest English learning platform for 3–12-year-olds, has raised $2.5 million in a funding round led by Capital A and other marquee investors including Bollywood star Tiger Shroff, BharatPe Founder Ashneer Grover, VMart Retail Founder Lalit Agarwal, and Global PayU CFO Aakash Moondhara to name a few.

Several existing investors, including Unreasonable Capital, Quantiphi founding team, and Singapore Angels group, also participated in the round. The funding will be invested in product, distribution and to further strengthen Freadom’s vertical presence across stakeholders for English as a second language.

Launched in 2016 after 8 years of intensive grassroot level research in learning and reading science ― Freadom equips children to learn to read in English in any country where it is an aspirational second language, via its state-of-the-art recommendation engine; built in collaboration with Stanford University to drive English language learning. Freadom’s own published research shows that children who supplement app learning with their Live classes end up learning 2x faster.

“Learning a language like English should be fun and engaging and we prioritize this at Freadom. The success of Freadom lies at the intersection of our innovative pedagogical approach and advanced AI technology that makes language learning accessible for every child between the ages of 3 and 12. The goal is to create impact at scale and prioritize long-term learning outcomes over short-term gains,” said Nikhil Saraf, Founder of Freadom who was part of the Forbes Asia Under 30 list in 2021.

“Capital A has been backing startups with great potential in different sectors. This investment in the Edutech domain is our first one and we are extremely upbeat about the potential of this segment in the years ahead – a growth that has also been induced by the pandemic. When I look at the investment use case in the Indian edtech space, its predominantly in one of these three: consolidation by few big players, solving for developed markets and not India and high CAC. Freadom has been focused on solving for age and learning outcomes with the deepest impact and hence effectively capturing maximum value. Having solved for distribution without spending on digital marketing, it is a definite edge for them in India to retain their pole position. I can see blitz scale as the next stage ~ excited with seat belts on!”, said Ankit Kedia, angel investor turned VC and CEO of Capital A that led the funding round.

Capital A is a venture fund for seed-to-early-stage meaningful start-ups led by Ankit Kedia who is a former promoter of Manjushree Technopack Ltd, the largest manufacturer of rigid plastics packaging in the South Asia region. 

On his decision to invest in the company, Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff said, “The youth of a nation are its future and a stepping stone for economic growth. Being well-versed in a language like English can give them immense confidence personally and in all walks of life, especially in the current fast-changing global village. In this regard, Freadom is doing great work and I look forward to their growth trajectory and outcomes in the times to come.”

The Freadom team has leveraged their research and partners like Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon Speech to deliver big outcomes to young learners. The founders of Freadom are thankful to early investors’ patience for allowing the necessary time to establish ‘product impact fit’ before ‘product market fit’. Now with both, the team is on track to reach 10 million readers and contribute 2 billion reading minutes to its mission in 2022.

Venture capital investments for early childhood edtech startups have been steadily increasing over the past decade. Over the past four years, US-based early childhood edtech startups have raised about $372 million in venture capital and the trend is rapidly picking up in India as well. One report even suggests that we could see up to $150B of investments in EdTech deployed this decade given the current migration to online platforms for learning.

Spending even just 10 minutes every day on the Freadom app has proved to accelerate a child’s learning progress by more than 30%. Their approach to learning includes the combination of highly engaging content with gamification and personalization which not only makes children learn quickly but keeps them coming back for more ― boasting of the highest retention rate in the industry.

In a country like India learning to speak in English is still aspirational for many. The fact of the matter remains that English reading in early years of learning has a disproportionate impact on lifetime outcomes. Freadom aims to change that. If English is an emotion, Freadom undoubtedly will be its expression. The company aims to reach 50M users worldwide by 2023.

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