AR Startup Play Shifu Secures Investment Money

Early this year augmented reality (AR) start-up company Play Shifu launched a Kickstarter campaign for an AR-enhanced globe called the Orboot. The campaign was very successful, raising the profile of Play Shifu. The company has now secured an undisclosed amount of money in pre-Series A funding.

The funding round was led by venture capital companies IDG Ventures and IDFC-Parampara Fund. The money will be used to extend Play Shifu’s reach globally as well as improve its technology and design teams.

Play Shifu is an India-based company founded by Vivek Goyal and Dinesh Advani. In May this year, the company was selected to be part of a Facebook-sponsered initiative to help mobile developers access tools and services to help small businesses grow.

“We strongly believe in technologies that bridge the gap between the physical and digital worlds, specifically for early-learning. The tremendous global response for Shifu Orboot, the smart globe, has given us a major boost in the ed-tech space,” said Goyal.

Play Shifu’s Orboot Kickstarter was a success, tapping into the growing demand for ‘smart’ toys and games. The Kickstarter raised $77,881 (USD), hugely overshooting its $15,000 goal, and the first of the Orboot globes began shipping to customers last month. The Orboot globe is designed to be an educational tool for children, pairing with a smartphone to show a variety of information on various location, going into detail on climate, food, culture and wildlife. Each highlight area on the globe has its own story, such as a tale about Chinese New Year.

“The success of Play Shifu’s Orboot product on Kickstarter in such a short time with limited resources speaks highly of the team’s domain knowledge and market opportunity,” said IDG Ventures India Advisors director Karthik Prabhakar.

VRFocus will continue to report on new developments in the VR and AR industries.