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This Chennai-based start-up is trying to reform pre-school experience

Devika Singh     April 11, 2019

Arunprasad Durairaj, Co-founder and CEO, Flinto Learning Solutions, was working with Samsung in South Korea when he realised the dearth of meaningful games, tools and programmes in the market to engage his son and help in early development. His friends Vijaybabu Gandhi and Shreenidhi SP faced the same challenge. It is then the trio decided to quit their jobs and find a solution to fill in this gap in the market. The start-up was founded in late 2013 and it started shipping its products by October 2014 after a year's research and product development.

"We decided to provide meaningful engagement to children. Later, we discovered that there is a whole new industry called early learning and education. There is a an interesting science behind why the first few years of a child are important and what impact it creates in their growth," Durairaj told Business Today.

"The opportunity in the space excited us and we could see how we can engage kids while offering them a meaningful and positive early learning experience," he added.

Flinto designs hands-on experiential learning programme for children, which is centred on playful activities. According to Durairaj, playing is central to everything a child does. "It is the highest form of learning and that's the way the children try to make sense of the world." The company makes products for children to have meaningful engagement at home as well as in pre-school.

 Its flagship product, Flintobox, is a series of discovery boxes for children aged 2-12 and is carefully designed for child's early development. According to the company, every box comes with activities that enables the child to create, play, explore and read about a particular theme, while catering to more than 12 critical developmental areas. "Typically, parents subscribe to these boxes for three, six or 12 months. The boxes are delivered at home. This segment focusses on engaging children meaningfully at home, away from gadgets and TV."

Flintobox can be bought from the company's website and is available across more than 1000 cities and towns. The company claims to ship 80,000 boxes per month.

The second product, FlintoClass, was launched 20-months ago. It is a standardised product-as-a-service model to power the independent/unbranded pre-schools to deliver early learning program. Currently, FlintoClass curriculum is available for nursery and pre-KG. The start-up will be launching the curriculum for LKG and UKG soon. A space with minimum 8-10 kids and a capital of Rs 1-2 lakh (approximately) is needed to launch a pre-school with FlintoClass.

Flinto claims it is present in more than 500 pre-schools across eight countries. The company is operational in Singapore, Malaysia, Qatar, UAE, Laos, Indonesia and Kuwait.

"FlintoClass model is an Oyo of pre-schools. We standardise the entire program and the offering. Any school can tie up to offer a brilliant early leaning program," Durairaj said.

Flintobox currently has 80 per cent of its revenue coming in from its flagship product and FlintoClass contributes 20 per cent to it. The start-up says it had a topline of Rs 18 crore in the financial year 2018 and is targeting to reach Rs 40 crore in the next financial year.

Going ahead, it plans to focus on Indian and South Asian markets and on the growth of Flintobox and FlintoClass. It also has other products in pipeline.

The start-up has raised about $9.5 million in five rounds of funding so far from InnoVen Capital, Lightbox and Globevestor etc.

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