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Kalam Labs raises pre-seed from Lightspeed and Y Combinator to bring Live Game Streaming into Education

Kalam Labs, a live game streaming platform at the intersection of K-12 learning and multiplayer gaming, announced a pre-seed round with Lightspeed and Y Combinator. With this capital, Kalam Labs plans to accelerate their product roadmap to build a “Metaverse for Science”, starting with fun and immersive virtual missions for 6-14 year old kids to learn their favourite STEM topics.

Launched in June 2021, Kalam Labs has already amassed thousands of paying students and is growing its user base by 50% week-over-week completely organically and via referrals within student communities. As a result of high-paced in-game chats and engaging game-play, kids are self-motivated to learn new science topics and are spending upto 3 hours per week, returning thrice weekly.

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Gaming and education are fast merging. Well known games such as Minecraft (150M MAUs) and Roblox (200M MAUs) are already seeing “education economies” organically emerging within the games. Teachers are designing and conducting live sessions inside these multiplayer games to help kids learn coding and science. For example, teachers are using pre-built Roblox templates to customize game levels. Students then play these Roblox levels as groups or individuals to learn complex concepts such as chain reaction simulations in the process. Recognizing the trend, Minecraft has released a dedicated Minecraft for Education which helps schools and educators migrate from Zoom classes to active game-based learning. Roblox has released Roblox Education which offers a free curriculum to educators.

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Kalam Labs sits on top of this trend. They have made multiplayer gaming more suitable for education by introducing engaging live video and chat interaction. A typical Kalam Labs session features a live instructor taking a group of students through a virtual world while explaining STEM topics via game-based exercises and providing the right nudges along the way.

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Built by 21-year-old founders Faraaz, Sashakt and Harshit while they were still in college, Kalam Labs has a vision to become the Metaverse for Science: a virtual world where kids hang out and learn their favourite STEM topics by joining and playing various science-led missions. Kids are loving it. A 12-year-old grade 7 student from India said, “I love the speed of Kalam Labs. I wait everyday for the 6 PM session when the teacher will take us to explore Space, Universe and Black Holes”. The parent of an 8-year-old from Bangalore said, “Kalam Labs is like my child’s favourite encyclopedia. Everyday at dinner he tells me about all the new science facts he learnt at Kalam Labs.”

“The 2020s kids have been born directly into the age of iPhones, Netflix and Google. It is impractical to make them sit in front of a blackboard or a Zoom Class expecting them to remember irrelevant information. Kids today want creative learning experiences and they want it fast. Kalam Labs provides exactly that,” says Ahmad Faraaz, co-founder of Kalam Labs. “While our growth has been unexpected and amazing, we are very aware just how tough it is to meet the high standards our very young users have from us on a daily basis. What motivates us is their passion and engagement on our platform. Education is undergoing a generational change and we plan to be at the forefront of building products that will accelerate this shift.”

“At Lightspeed, we have invested in global scale companies in both education (Byju’s) and gaming (Epic Games). Having seen hundreds of pitches in education over the years, we thought the approach Kalam Labs had for K-12 was one of the most interesting and fresh. Learning through play is as old as humanity itself — a behaviour so primal and genetic that we even see it in animals. What Kalam Labs is building is just a digital version of how humans have always learned new skills. We are excited to back the Kalam team as they take on this ambitious challenge,” said Hemant Mohapatra, Partner at Lightspeed.

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