SA Online Preschool Play Sense Secure R8.25m from Enygma Ventures

play sense enygma

  • SA online Startup Play Sense has gotten an investment of R8.25m from Enygma Ventures.
  • This is Enygma Ventures in its initial group of 11 female entrepreneurs chosen to benefit from its investment programme.
  • Enygma Ventures’s R8.25m investment has enabled Play Sense to pivot to an online offering

SA startup Play Sense has raised R8.25 million from US Venture Capital (VC) fund Enygma Ventures to allow it to expand its pre-school online in-home offering.

This is the first investment made by Enygma Ventures in its initial cohort of 11 female entrepreneurs chosen for its investor-ready program which ran earlier this year.

The R100-million fund, which will invest R10-million in women-led start-ups from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, was founded in October last year by the husband and wife duo Sarah and Jacob Dusek, who are the founders of US adventure-hospitality firm Under Canvas.

Dusek said in a statement earlier this week that she was excited about how Play Sense pivoted its business effectively, bringing its innovative play-centered curriculum online, adapting its model to support parents and children during this unparalleled period of schooling from home.

The company was founded in 2015 by Lara Schoenfeld and Meg Faure, the occupational therapists. In February 2016 the first group of the startup was launched in Cape Town

The startup, based in Cape Town, has 35 franchisees in Gauteng and the Western Cape, with 28 active groups (some franchisees are on hold because of pregnancy, illness Faure says) with a total of 120 children. Faure told Ventureburn in an email yesterday that global expansion is now also “on the table”.

She said the business had pivoted its bid to sell parents a home school program when SA schools closed three weeks ago.

“This programme is conducted within virtual schools – the teacher remains the point of contact, creating a virtual community — she connects with her little ones daily through the Zoom platform and supports the parents. The actual activities are delivered via a platform called Obami.

Faure said the startup also provides the requisite equipment kits to carry out the programme and added that the distribution of these is being explored in the state of the lockdown.

“We are marketing through social media predominantly. In addition, for marketing purposes, I do weekly parenting talks to 100 parents on Zoom,” she said, adding that these are currently sold out until the end of this month.

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