Airtel (Bharti Airtel) has recently obtained a strategic stake in EdTech startup, Lattu Kids (Lattu Media Pvt Ltd.) as part of the Airtel Startup Accelerator Programme. With this Lattu Kids has become the fourth startup and the only EdTech startup under this Accelerator Programme. Mumbai based Lattu Kids specialises in digital learning tools for small children and focuses on improving English vocabulary, English reading, English rhymes for children under the age of 10 years through entertaining, fun learning animated videos and games. Commenting on this partnership, Lattu Kids co-founder and CEO Vivek Bhutyani told AnimationXpress, “This is a strategic relationship between Lattu Kids and Airtel that we have entered into. As you know that Airtel has more than 300 million customers across India, and with our EdTech early learning product, we want to reach all these customers. We also want to leverage the strength of distribution that Airtel has, and make Lattu Kids reach out to all kids and parents pan India.” The Accelerator Program allows start-ups to leverage Airtel’s robust ecosystem, including its core strengths in data, distribution, networks and payments. This includes access to a vast online and offline distribution network that touches 300m+ customers, deep market understanding and platform of global strategic partners. Further, start-ups also get access to advisory services from Airtel’s executive team. The investment will enable Airtel to add EdTech to its premium digital content portfolio and give distribution scale to quality learning material from Lattu Kids. Airtel already has over 160 mn monthly active users across its digital platforms – Airtel Thanks app, Airtel Xstream app and Wynk Music. Bharti Airtel product officer Adarsh Nair stated in an official statement, “At Airtel, we aspire to support the growth of the start-up ecosystem through our digital platforms. And now more than ever, online education is a critical need for millions of young children who do not have access to regular classrooms. We believe that Lattu Kids can make a positive impact in the space of online education and are excited to have them in our accelerator and partner in their growth.” Lattu Kids will not be directly available on the Airtel Thanks app, but will have different integrations within the Airtel ecosystem through all its digital properties. Bhutyani added, “Our vision with Lattu Kids is to impact learning outcomes for young children (Nursery to grade two) and lead this category in India by using Digital content, Gamification and Technology. With Airtel, we have found an equally passionate partner and our synergies in this space will allow us to scale Lattu Kids to millions of kids in India across classes and make it a much-loved home grown EdTech brand. We are working very closely with the Airtel team to grow the brand and are very happy to be part of this Accelerator programme.” Lattu Kids has recently added Mathematics to the app to help children better their Maths skills, and aims to make it a full-fledged learning app for kids till the second standard including subjects like History, Science, GK, Technology and others beside the ongoing English and Mathematics content. India is now the second largest country in terms of number of internet users in the world which stands at 500 mn, driven by affordable smartphones and the lowest 4G data tariffs globally initiated by another telco, Jio. This deep penetration of the internet has also led to wide adoption of online learning tools. And now with the pandemic and closure of schools has further accelerated the adoption of virtual classrooms and digitally enabled learning. It is estimated that in India EdTech will become a USD two bn plus industry by 2021. Bhutyani considers the future to be very bright for the Edtech industry and in a way without COVID has been like a blessing in disguise for this sector. Most parents and schools would consider the intrusion of too much technology and usage of digital tools in a negative way. But with the pandemic, the idea has changed and they have realised that technology has been a great help in continuing education during crisis period.