Skillmatics, a full-stack direct-to-consumer brand for educational products and games for children has raised USD 6 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital India. The round also includes participation from Jalaj Dani Family Office and existing angel investors. The funds raised will be used to strengthen its presence in the US across online and offline retail, hire across product design, data analytics, technology, and marketing roles, as well as expand product offerings to target newer age groups and enter new product categories.
Operating in a USD 100 billion global toy and game market, Skillmatics caters to new age parents who want to provide their children meaningful play experiences that build formative skills. Skillmatics’ differentiated products are made using sustainable materials, are designed to build core skills and reinforce key learning outcomes through systematic play. Skillmatics currently offers products in three key categories – learning resources, educational games and STEM toys.
“We have adopted a software-like approach to traditional product development and built a suite of proprietary analytical tools that allows us to better understand evolving consumer preferences. This approach has enabled us to create innovative IP-led products that have rapidly gained traction and earned customer love in large markets like the USA, enabling us to build a global brand from India”, said Dhvanil Sheth, Founder & CEO at Skillmatics.
Skillmatics is the first Indian origin brand to sell globally across a number of large offline retailers including Walmart and Target. Today, Skillmatics is present across 15 countries with a primary focus on North America and India. Products are retailed via its own website, online marketplaces and across 15,000 offline stores worldwide.
A bestseller on Amazon USA, Skillmatics, since the pandemic, has grown 5X year on year owing to the dramatically accelerated consumer shift to online retail globally. To date, Skillmatics has sold over 3,000,000 products and has an average rating of 4.7 from over 25,000+ reviews from customers on Amazon globally. Earlier this year, it was also recognized as the Global SMB of the Year, 2021 at Amazon Smbhav Awards.
“Our vertically integrated supply chain enables us to rapidly iterate, launch and scale new products 5X faster than traditional incumbent brands. The fundraise gives us the fuel to build new capabilities, expand our reach and take us one step closer to building an iconic brand that is loved by families around the world”, Devanshi Kejriwal, Co-Founder & Creative Director, Skillmatics.
“Sequoia Capital India’s Surge first partnered with Skillmatics in early 2019 and it’s been exciting to see the company’s progress over the last two years. A rapid and iterative product development engine, a clear shift in preferences of parents for educational cum entertainment toys, and tremendous user love indicated by high ratings across the largest retailers in the US are all things that excite us about the company. Skillmatics is leading a new wave of Indian consumer companies which are building for the world from India – a trend we believe will only accelerate over the next few years.” Harshjit Sethi, Principal, Sequoia India
Skillmatics has built a new age business model that sells directly to consumers globally while leveraging India’s cost advantages in manufacturing, product design and content creation. This business model is structurally superior to those of incumbents as it is closer to the consumer, has a data-driven and faster product development process, and significantly higher gross and operating margins.
Part of Surge’s (a rapid scale-up program for start-ups in India and Southeast Asia) first cohort in 2019, Skillmatics has raised a total of USD 8 million to date.