A startup that might ‘both be a hero or zero in 2 years’ will get no funds on Shark Tank India S2 | Technoscoob


  • Kolkata-based GunjanApps Studios develops instructional video games for teenagers aged between 1.5-12 years.
  • In FY22, it clocked income of ₹24 crore and a web revenue of ₹15 crore.
  • The founders requested for an funding of ₹2.5 crore for 1% fairness.
  • Not one of the judges prolonged a suggestion as just a few of them believed that the product wasn’t modern however reasonably ‘addictive’ in nature.

Of the 21 startups which have been pitched on Shark Tank India Season 2 to date, 15 startups have obtained funding from the sharks. Tech startup GunjanApps Studios isn’t certainly one of them.

Began in 2016 by husband and spouse duo Sourav and Gunjan Gupta, Kolkata-based GunjanApps Studios develops instructional video games for teenagers aged between 1.5-12 years. The startup claims to have developed over 40 cell apps that collectively have 200 million downloads. Its highest-performing app is a studying app for arithmetic, which has 60 million downloads.

“We’re on a mission to alter the way in which kids expertise know-how, by making a secure area for them. We make high quality content material for kids to play and study. We convey households collectively over significant display screen time,” states the corporate’s web site.

The founders claimed that pre-Covid, the common display screen time of kids was 9 minutes, but it surely elevated to 60 minutes throughout Covid as a result of heavy dependence on Zoom courses. Presently, as per the founders, the common display screen time of kids stands at 45 minutes.

The founders requested for an funding of ₹2.5 crore for 1% fairness, which valued the corporate at ₹250 crore. The startup has three income streams, commercials, subscriptions and in-app purchases, that contribute 96%, 3%, and 1% respectively to the overall income. Nevertheless, going ahead, the founders goal to extend the income from subscriptions.

In FY22, the corporate had gross sales of ₹24 crore, with a web revenue of ₹15 crore. And but, the startup discovered no takers. As a result of the sharks, primarily, didn’t consider within the product.

‘Elevated display screen time is a tragedy’

The founders stated that the thought to develop the app got here from their very own expertise. Initially hailing from India, the couple was residing within the US once they noticed how their son, aged 1 on the time, discovered numbers by taking part in with a PoC (proof of idea) that Gunjan was engaged on on the time.

That’s when the founders had their ‘eureka second’ – an app that enables kids to study with out parental help. As per Gunjan, she couldn’t discover any free app that provided the same studying expertise.

She shared on the present, “Once I was searching for such studying apps for my son, I discovered that there have been no such apps available in the market. Those that have been out there had a particularly costly subscription.”

Consequently, Sourav stop his job with IBM and the couple returned to India to extensively develop GunjanApps. Sourav is an engineer, who labored for 12 years (with L&T Infotech and later IBM) earlier than beginning GunjanApps. Gunjan is an authorized android programmer, who had 3 years of expertise as an internet and cell app developer earlier than she began GunjanApps.

Vineeta Singh, co-founder of Sugar Cosmetics, was the primary one to share her apprehensions in regards to the product and again out, claiming that the apps have been truly extremely ‘addictive’ for kids and didn’t provide any appreciable studying.

Namita Thapar, govt director at Emcure Prescribed drugs, had the same outlook. She believed that a rise in kids’s display screen time is a tragedy, and one ought to work to reverse this development – not settle for it.

“The numbers you shared about rising display screen time – it is a tragedy. Reasonably than accepting it, we must always reverse and return to old school methods. Since basically I don’t consider in it, I’m out,” shared Thapar.

Then again, sharks Aman Gupta, co-founder of boAt, and Anupam Mittal, founding father of Shaadi.com, agreed with the founders to an extent. Each shared that prime display screen time for kids was a actuality in current occasions.

Nevertheless, Mittal backed out from investing as a result of he didn’t take into account the product to be as revolutionary because the founders claimed. He stated that contemplating the constraints on promoting for kids, the founders would want to develop their subscriptions – one thing the founders agreed with. And in a subscription market, they’d face stiff competitors from established giants within the business, like ABC mouse and Kiddopia. Mittal opined that he didn’t suppose the startup had the potential to battle such competitors.

Shark Peyush Bansal, the co-founder of Lenskart, who initially seemed to be , backed down – not as a result of he didn’t consider within the product however as a result of he didn’t consider within the founders. In accordance with Bansal, the founders required intensive teaching on constructing a tradition within the organisation.

“What you are promoting is at a stage the place it’s both a hero or zero within the subsequent two years,” added Bansal. Gupta, then again, believed that whereas Sourav and Gunjan have been passionate founders, they weren’t paranoid in regards to the competitors – a high quality he regarded for in entrepreneurs.

A ray of hope

Dejected by the rejection from all of the sharks, Gunjan shared that she believed it could have been simpler for the corporate to develop had they obtained a deal on the present. That was when Mittal added that he can be glad to debate methods to enhance the app and the enterprise as he’d labored on comparable merchandise. He additionally suggested them to not draw back from challenges, which, he claimed, have been integral to an entrepreneur’s journey.

“It would by no means be simple – the trail is tough. Entrepreneurship may be very onerous. (However) if you might want to decide the trail forward, you’ll. However as a result of I’ve constructed this enterprise, I’m glad to offer you recommendation and enter,” stated Mittal.

Bansal additionally added that the duo must be happy with the truth that in a day and age the place most tech startups and web firms, even these making income to the tune of ₹1,000 crore, wrestle to earn income, the duo had created a worthwhile enterprise.

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