Enterprise SaaS Startup PlayAblo Pivots Business Model; Raises Rs 5.9 Cr in Pre-Series A Round


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Forced to reinvent its model to tide over the COVID-19 crisis, schools-focused EdTech startup PlayAblo has pivoted its business model to focus on the enterprise SaaS-based opportunities for the learning needs of growing organizations.

The Bengaluru-based startup has also raised Rs. 5.9 crore from a clutch of the US and UK-based angel investors who were able to relate to the problem in workplace learning when it comes to staff training and how eLearning will be the long-term transition that growing companies will adopt in droves. The fundraise was participated by Karthik Natarajan (Ex-CFO, Vishal Megamart), Saurabh Sinha (CEO, EMIDS Technologies), Rajesh Ravindranath (SVP, ITC Infotech), Arnab Chatterjee (CPO, SmartKarrot), Hasanain Golam (CISCO Systems), Manindra Jha (TESCO), and Shashikiran BG (FortiSIEM).

Originally a schools-focused gamified learning platform, PlayAblo pivoted its positioning when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the school segment. The company found an opportunity in the space of workplace learning. Leveraging its existing gamified learning platform, it repositioned itself as new age and fresh-looking lightweight mobile-based enterprise LMS (Learning Management System).

With work-from-home restrictions forcing organizations to tweak their operations, ongoing training for employees was one of the most impacted processes. Compared to the western world, Indian companies have been slow to adopt eLearning as a vehicle for employee training, relying on the traditional classroom-based Instructor-Led Training (ILT) approach. COVID-19 changed all this as companies had no face-to-face access to employees. As companies rapidly worked towards updating their products, solutions, and processes to adapt to the new reality, the need to keep their staff and external partners trained and updated became more acute than ever. PlayAblo, with its originally schools-focused gamified learning platform, saw this crisis as an opportunity. Leveraging their existing platform, the startup quickly demonstrated the power of mobile-based lightweight and fun-to-use learning experience for enterprise users. Since the pandemic, PlayAblo has added customers from the space of IT Services, FinTech, Manufacturing, Staffing, Consulting, Not-for-profits, and Education.

PlayAblo continues to offer its solution in the K-12 segment on a partnership model with school chains and academic publishers instead of individual schools. The K-12 solutions from PlayAblo are custom-created, aligning with the partner’s pedagogical approach, content, and hybrid delivery model.

PlayAblo is an Enterprise SaaS solution offering customized LMS (Learning Management System) for the SMB segment. The startup was founded by Dheeraj Sharma (NIT Calicut), Ananthakrishanan G (IIM Kozhikode), and Suchitra Premkumar (BITS Pilani). Its existing investors include ABI Showatech (A Brakes India Group Company) and Brand Capital (Times Group).

Growing organizations with an increasingly spread-out workforce see a significant need to adopt LMS-based e-Learning solutions to keep their employees and partners uniformly trained and compliant. The enterprise LMS market in the Indian and APAC region is projected to grow at 34% CAGR, nearly double the global growth trends over the next 7 years.

About the Author

Author: Stephen Soulunii

Stephen Soulunii No more a student, but love to learn. Not a teacher, but care about how students are taught. Not an educator, but want everyone to be educated. Not a social worker, but desire to see change. Not a reformer, but always want to see a better world. The author believes that only sound education can bring a better future, better world and technology can help achieve a lot in this field.

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