Building a Universe of Delightful Early Learning Experiences
Anshu Dhanuka, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Kiddopia

Anshu Dhanuka, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Kiddopia

Kiddopia is an award-winning app that offers a variety of research-based early learning activities for children. It combines play with skill-building activities and essential preschool curricula to provide a comprehensive learning experience. The app is available in English, Spanish, German, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, and French and has received the number one ranking in several geographies worldwide. Kiddopia has been downloaded over 18 million times and boasts 2.5 million monthly active users and 400,000+ paying subscribers. Additionally, the app has achieved industry-leading engagement and retention numbers. To ensure the safety of its young users, Kiddopia is COPPA-certified by kidSAFE.

Team Kiddopia consists of over 60 creative individuals who are significant revenue contributors to Nazara Technologies, a publicly-listed investor. As a fast-growing media brand, they have established a strong presence in the industry.

Anshu Dhanuka, Co-Founder & Co-CEO of Kiddopia, A Journey from Motherhood to Edtech

Anshu Dhanuka is a multifaceted leader in India’s education industry, serving as the Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Kiddopia. Her impressive range of skills includes expertise in product design, content production, and strategic planning. In addition to being a trailblazer in the field of early learning, Anshu is also a devoted mother and passionate gamer.

Inception of Kiddopia

As new parents in 2010, Anshu and Anupam Dhanuka (Kiddopia Co-Founder & Co-CEO) were inundated with conflicting advice on raising a child in the digital age. They wanted to provide their child with a nurturing environment that encouraged growth, learning, and self-expression. However, they found that most learning apps at the time were not engaging, were not ad-free, or simply offered casual games. They aimed to create a kid-friendly platform that fostered learning through curiosity — a safe, fun place where children could learn through play. The product was Kiddopia.

Kippopia: Blending Learning and Fun for Preschoolers

In 2013, when they were just starting out, the team came across a gap in the market for preschool apps, which either focused solely on education or entertainment. Recognising that children often prefer casual games or videos during screen time, they seized the opportunity to create a kid-friendly platform that blended both learning and entertainment. Their goal was to develop an app that could be just as engaging as a gaming or video app but foster curiosity-driven learning. With a focus on solo play, they designed the app to encourage exploration and learning in a fun and interactive way. The team aims to build a fun, safe, healthy and enriching learning ecosystem for kids.

In the global early learning space, Kiddopia has established itself as a leader by offering a preschool app that covers a wide range of topics, from the basics of ABCs to the complexities of STEM and self-expression. The platform integrates learning and entertainment seamlessly, giving children access to world-class edutainment content they can engage with voluntarily and without coercion. The app has become a popular resource for parents who want the best educational content for their young children. Today, Kiddopia is more than a preschool app. It also has an animated web series and merchandise line to its name!

A Child-Centric Approach Is What Differentiates Kiddopia

The Kiddopia team strives to provide children with a platform where they can freely explore and learn without even realising it. By incorporating real-life experiences with interactive and engaging activities, they have created their own unique learning formula. This approach is reflected in some of their best activities, which have been developed through constant observation of children’s behaviour and testing.

The team believes in a child-centric approach to content creation and technological innovation, which has made their app stand out in the market. They continue to work on improving their product by constantly interacting with children and developing content that aligns with their interests and needs.

The app’s primary target audience is parents with children between the ages of 2 and 7 in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. In addition to its primary markets, Kiddopia has also been launched in localised versions in Germany, Spain, France, Japan, and China to expand its reach and cater to a wider audience.

A Globally Acclaimed Made-in-India Brand Making Quality Early Education Accessible

The Kiddopia team has successfully accomplished their mission to create an accessible and high-quality early education app for children, resulting in the app becoming a highly successful made-in-India brand loved by parents and children worldwide, with leading engagement and retention rates and multiple international awards.

Their goal is to make high-quality early education accessible to all children, and the positive feedback they receive from parents the world over motivates them to continue to improve. Kiddopia has become a beloved companion for both parents and children.

As a company, the team has received multiple awards, including three BW Businessworld Awards Edutech, two ET Inspiring Leaders Awards, an Entrepreneur Award, and an ET Global Indian Leaders Award.

Challenges and Learnings

In the early days of Kiddopia, edtech for preschoolers was still in its infancy. Anshu and Anupam built a team of app developers and learning experts, which was uncommon at the time. Anshu herself had to take on multiple roles and learn various technicalities and best practices on the job. The biggest challenge was keeping children engaged on an app that did not rely solely on casual games or videos. Drawing inspiration from their own experiences as parents and their academic and professional backgrounds, Anshu and Anupam used real-life scenarios to make the app engaging for preschoolers.

Kiddopia presented a unique challenge as its users (preschoolers) were different from its decision-makers (parents), requiring targeted communication to both groups. Furthermore, strict privacy and COPPA regulations made it more challenging to create content for preschoolers. The team successfully navigated these challenges by staying vigilant, adapting to the market, and leveraging a proprietary data-centric user acquisition strategy, earning them industry-leading user acquisition metrics. Their in-house efforts have helped them thrive in the post-Apple IDFA landscape, making Kiddopia a global phenomenon.

Navigating Through the Pandemic

During the pandemic, Kiddopia experienced significant growth as parents searched for constructive ways to keep their children occupied. The company recorded its strongest numbers during lockdowns and has continued to benefit from the pandemic’s impact on the learning landscape. The pandemic also brought about a shift in society’s perception of digital learning, which has opened up opportunities for edtech companies like Kiddopia. The team sees this changing perception as a chance to expand its reach further and has already launched in several major global markets with the goal of reaching every young learner.

Upcoming Trends in the Industry

It is becoming increasingly apparent that play-based or gamified learning provides numerous benefits for young children. Learning through phygital innovations is gaining popularity as a form of play-based learning. Additionally, fluid play, which blends physical and digital play, is quickly becoming the preferred mode of play for parents, educators, and children. It is clear that the digitisation and gamification of learning are firmly established and will continue to evolve.

Future Outlook

One of the most significant things happening at Kiddopia right now is the development of their STEM and coding curriculum. The team recognises the importance of STEM learning and is committed to ensuring their young users have access to it. Their STEM and coding space features engaging roleplay activities with relatable characters and fun gameplay. Kiddopia has already released several games in this category, which have received positive feedback from parents. They are eager to expand their STEM library and continue to delight their little users.

Kiddopia has evolved beyond a kids’ app and now includes an animated web series and merchandise line. The company is focused on building new business verticals and revenue streams to become a full-blown media brand.

As a company, Kiddopia’s overall goal is to make quality experience-based early learning more accessible. The company aims to become a universe for kids’ delight, providing parents of preschoolers with all the tools they need to keep their children engaged, learning, and growing.

Words of Wisdom

Sharing her words of advice for young entrepreneurs, Anshu says,

“Dive deep into your line of work and get into the technical aspects of each process to find better solutions. There will be times when things will not go according to your plan, and the world will throw challenges at you, but if you focus on finding solutions, you will come out victorious. Keep the noise out and focus on what’s important to you”.

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