EduTech

Airtel acquires 10% stake in edu-tech start up Lattu Media

New Delhi: Bharti Airtel has acquired 10% stake in Edtech startup Lattu Media Pvt Ltd (“Lattu Kids”) as part of its Startup Accelerator Program.

Mumbai based Lattu Kids specializes in digital learning tools for children. The app focuses on improving English vocabulary, English reading and Maths skills for children under the age of 10 years through entertaining, fun learning animated videos and games.

Lattu Kids is the fourth company to join the Airtel Startup Accelerator Program, which allows start-ups to leverage Airtel’s robust ecosystem.

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 said it already has over 160 mn monthly active users across its digital platforms – Airtel Thanks app, Airtel Xstream app and Wynk Music.

Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer, Bharti Airtel said: “…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.”

At over 500 mn, India has the second largest number of internet users in the world, driven by affordable smartphones and the lowest 4G data tariffs globally. This deep penetration of internet has also led to wide adoption of online learning tools. The COVID-19 pandemic and closure of schools has further accelerated the adoption of virtual classrooms and digitally enabled learning.

Vivek Bhutyani, Co-founder and CEO, Lattu Kids said: “With Airtel, we have found an equally passionate partner and our synergies in this space will allow us to scale Lattu to millions of kids in India across classes and make it a much-loved home grown EdTech brand.”

Brokerage Kotak recently said it expected Airtel to expand the breadth and scope of partnerships with several OTTs on the content side and with insurance and education companies too. It also expects the telco to increasingly develop and monetise its digital assets such as Airtel Thanks or Wynk, although the company’s approach, it said, is more likely to be partnerships-driven.

At a recent call, post-March quarter earnings, Airtel’s chief executive Gopal Vittal said the telco is looking to develop new revenue streams and drive efficiencies through its digital platform. Besides building digital partnerships with global tech companies, he said, the combination of Airtel’s deep understanding of customers, its strong distribution network, smooth payments system and location-based understanding would help grow its digital platforms business.

CLSA said Bharti’s digital platform, Airtel Thanks now has 160 million monthly active users across Airtel Thanks, Wynk, and Xstream services, adding that over 60% of the company’s own business is digital channels. Further, the telco has 1.1 million retailers on its Mitra App.

In recent years, telcos such as Airtel have stepped up efforts to grab the 700 million-odd sports fans who watch the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket series, with a primary aim to garner heavy data subscribers, that would, typically boost ARPU, a key telco performance metric.


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