India has more children than the next 3 countries (China, US, Indonesia) put together. Of these, 100M children are online already, and the number is expected to increase to 135M next year giving India the largest population
Indian Angel Network (IAN) has invested 3 crores in Bengaluru-based TOKO Innovation Studios, who are creating a digital destination for children that can be viewed on mobile and web browsers. Roopak Saluja, Founder & CEO of The 120 Media Collective and new media company, Sooperfly, and Vishal Khare have led this round on behalf of IAN and Saluja will join the board of the company. This round has been co-led by Rajasthan Angel Investor Network, who will be represented on the board by Ajay Data.
Founded in February 2014 by Aditya Mukherjee (CEO), Arnav Mukherjee (Content Head) and Ajitsen Surendran (CTO) with an idea of making toys & games that are connected to stories, TOKO’s current vision is to become a leading player in the entertainment space focusing on children. TOKO is targeting the Indian market with the aim of expanding across emerging markets globally, including a strong focus on Asia.
“We realized that children’s entertainment in India is still at a very nascent stage – so there is a huge market gap to be filled. With TOKO, we aim to create a platform and a collaborative ecosystem that will revolutionize Indian children’s entertainment. Extremely thankful to IAN for believing in our vision and helping us with not only funds but also the right mentorship and guidance we as a team needed,” said Aditya Mukherjee, Founder at TOKO Innovation Studios.
The investment will be primarily used for the product development, user growth and content partnerships. Prior to founding TOKO, Aditya was working with Bain & Company as a Strategy Consultant. He is also the author of two novels, one of them with his co-founder Arnav. Arnav also brings extensive global experience and contacts, while Ajit, the third founder, is an experienced technologist who has 3 patents to his name and has worked in Yahoo for 9+ years.
Vishal Khare, Lead IAN investor commented on the announcement saying, “TOKO is operating in an interesting and largely unexplored space of curated web content for kids. We see a huge potential for growth in this space and are very excited about the kind of plans team has.”
Commenting on the investment, Lead IAN investor Roopak Saluja, said, “The children’s content space is a universe in itself, and with licensing, merchandising and toys, a large and lucrative one at that. With the proliferation of devices and increase in bandwidth, the power of choice is shifting to children and parents. Now is the right time for a localised kids content platform. We’re backing the TOKO team because we have conviction in their vision and execution ability and are excited about the opportunity to help them succeed”.
The current transition from a text-based internet to an audio-visual internet is creating hundreds of millions of new and very active users and there is tremendous whitespace for children-focused companies to be formed based on this transition. India has more children than the next 3 countries (China, US, Indonesia) put together. Of these, 100M children are online already, and the number is expected to increase to ~135M next year giving India the largest population
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