Educational technology or EdTech is an industry that has been booming globally for the last few years, and even more so since the world became heavily technology-dependent in the wake of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. EdTech companies provide students with online tools and programmes to facilitate learning. However, not all EdTech companies are about academic learning and training. Those like Singapore-headquartered Kyt focus exclusively on extracurricular learning for children.
Kyt was founded in June 2020 by husband and wife duo Bhavik Rathod and Tripti Ahuja. Bhavik was a founding leader for Uber India and the Head of Uber Eats in India and South Asia while Tripti has spent 10 years designing customer experiences for top companies around the world, and an additional five years being part of founding teams at early-stage startups in India.
The couple felt that while the EdTech industry has been booming, especially since the pandemic and despite the future of learning very likely to be a hybrid of offline and online learning, most EdTech startups have paid little attention to holistic learning that is focused on extracurriculars.
The company has so far raised 2 rounds of funding - Seed funding led by Sequoia Capital India’s Surge and Series A funding led by Falcon Edge’s Alpha Wave Incubation besides seeing participation from Singapore based January Capital, India’s Titan Capital and notable angel investors such as Anand Chandrashekaran, Kunal Shah, Amrish Rau, Jitendra Gupta, Allen Penn, Martin Li, Akhil Paul and Aprameya.
The idea behind Kyt is that supporting a child’s inclination to learn new things isn’t ‘additional’ or extra but essential to all-round development.
“Nurturing interests outside the world of academia equips children with essential life skills. In addition, access to reputable institutions and respected teachers paves the way for a life-long love for learning,” Kyt co-founder Bhavik Rathod told Connected to India. “Being online-only, Kyt’s curriculum is designed with elements of animation and gamification to supplement learning, as well as rewards to motivate each child.”
Catering to both private and small group classes, Kyt provides online sessions to children from five to 15-years old all around the world. The platform leverages technology to offer courses with a structured curriculum, high quality instructors and interactive product features, providing families with an option to access talented coaches and quality classes from the comfort and safety of home.
“As per a survey conducted with over 300 parents, most enrol their kids in 2-3 extracurriculars courses each year. However, there is no single global platform or solution allowing children to take on quality extracurricular learning in an online-only format, with a properly structured curriculum designed specially for online learning, and focusing on the holistic development of the child. While such courses may exist offline, there are often geographical limitations to accessing educators,” explained Bhavik.
Kyt offers two learning approaches for children: Kyt Academy and Kyt Workshops. Kyt Academy courses usually span a period of up to 12 weeks and are ideal for children who are passionate about specific areas and want to develop their skills. Subjects include voice lessons, dance, yoga, language and reading.
Kyt Workshops are ideal for children who are exploring different interests and want to try multiple classes. These include cooking, magic classes, animation for pre-teens, rhythm and rap, as well as poetry.
“Kyt currently has over 6000 registered students and this number is rapidly growing every month,” Bhavik told Connected to India. “The number of teachers available to teach courses has also been rapidly increasing by 50% month on month - with more than 40 teachers onboard and plans to increase this to 500 over the next 12 months.”
With head offices in India and Singapore, Kyt also aims to create a global environment for children to learn in.
“Kyt is focused on being a global company and so we look past geographical boundaries when it comes to learning. It’s amazing to see how students from different countries come together and learn new skills. As an example, in one of our classes we have a student from India, Singapore and UAE learning together which makes the entire experience of learning truly global,” said Bhavik.
Kyt has also secured exclusive partnerships with top educators and artists to increase children’s love of learning, including Indian Chess Grandmaster Vidit Gujrathi, Mumbai based vocalists Kamakshi & Vishala, Philippines’ hip-hop legend Ruel Varindani, US based Narda Pitkethly and celebrity yoga instructor Sabrina Merchant.
The EdTech platform plans to add more courses, including speech and debate, spelling bees, guitar and keyboard among others.
“Where earlier, parents were limited to neighbourhood schools for music or dance, with Kyt, they now have access to world-class instructors with all the same focus of proper training, assessment, feedback, and encouragement. Students can showcase their progress at the end of each course period, and parents have access to timely progress reports,” concluded Bhavik.
(With inputs from Lakshmy Iyer)