Tekie, a coding platform that uses storytelling to make learning to code a movie-like experience, is revolutionizing Invisible Learning.
Imagine you are a detective. The central bank has just been robbed — and it is up to you to investigate the scene. Your goal is to collect evidence and solve the crime, and you must do so using the power of coding. With Tekie, kids are doing just that and consequently partaking in we at GSV refer to as Invisible Learning. Tekie is a coding platform for kids that uses the power of storytelling to make learning to code a movie-like experience, with the world’s first animated series. The India-based startup guides students through an immersive world where they solve problems and challenges while learning coding concepts like variables & strings, loops and data structure.
GSV Ventures is proud to lead the seed round of Tekie with participation from Multiply Ventures and Better Capital. Co-founders Anand Verma and Naman Mukund are building a product-first organization that has empowered 12,000+ kids with tangible skills. The intuitive curriculum and expert mentors equip students to live in an era where all people have equal access to the future.
“Coding is not only an essential skill for the future but an effective way to build problem-solving and logical thinking among kids. Coding education is still at a nascent stage in our country, primarily restricted to block-based coding. We want students to go beyond just getting introduced to concepts and learn to write real code.” — Co-founder, Naman Mukund.
Anand and Naman met as college students in Delhi. After graduating from the Shri Ram College of Commerce, Anand joined Deloitte as a consultant but left after just a few months because of his burning desire to be an entrepreneur. He became a founding team member of ecommerce referral company Refiral and then delivery startup NomNom. In parallel, Naman studied at IIT — Delhi, where he got a dual-degree in biomechanical engineering and biotechnology, before diving headfirst into startups. He worked at two EdTech startups: iProf Learning and XSeed Education.
“Middle class parents in India spend up to one third of their income on education. We want to offer them a solution that could actually change their child’s life trajectory.” — Co-founder, Anand Verma
Tekie is the only kids coding company in India focused on teaching syntax coding (Python). The co-founders are prioritizing GSV investment “ROE” (Return on Education), a core GSV investment theme. Tekie has been designed to give students tangible coding abilities that will prepare them for a career while simultaneously being genuinely fun and engaging. The team spent three years iterating the product before launching in Summer 2020. Users, mostly middle and high school students, learn by watching animated episodes that embed coding concepts as well as by playing games in order to progress through a story. Tekie’s efficacy was demonstrated when one of the beta users, Sanatan Chaudhary, finished as a finalist in the 2017 Google Code-In (Sugar Labs).
India has 25M+ students that Tekie could serve, representing a $5B+ opportunity. Tekie offers a variety of packages at different price points in order to serve not just tier one cities, but also India2. Furthermore, the opportunity in the US is an additional 25M students and $19B in spend. Tekie already has traction in India, the Middle East and Europe: the team is laying the groundwork to be a truly global platform.
In contrast to other coding companies, Tekie has taken an omni-channel approach to distribution. The company has robust traction as a B2B product for private schools and is also growing its B2C channel. Thus far Tekie has signed over 20 schools and has more than 12k paid users. Moreover, the platform boasts an NPS score of 85 and an average teacher rating of 4.9/5.0. Tekie’s best-in-class ratings and momentum demonstrate the product’s leadership.
We are excited to partner with the co-founders Anand and Naman as they work to teach coding to kids around the world. Check out their YouTube channel to get a taste of how they are bringing Invisible Learning to coding education.
This piece is co-authored by Thea Knobel, Vice President of Platform & Marketing at GSV Ventures.