Softbank-backed baby products e-tailer has announced its entry into the early childhood education.
December 19, 2019
Firstcry Group’s Edubees Education has acquired play school chain Oi Play Schools of Hyderabad-based People Combine, the owner of Oakridge International Schools. While the amount of the deal is undisclosed, FirstCry seeks to leverage its premium chain and educational curriculum to make its mark in the pre-primary education segment with this diversification.
According to a report by TOI, the baby care product e-tailer plans to increase the number of Oi Playschool’s centres to 1,000 across India by 2024. “What is attractive about Oi is that it is a premium chain and their educational curriculum is one of the best in the market with very passionate franchisee partners who are more educationists than business owners,” said FirstCry CEO Supam Maheshwari.
The Oi playschool has properly structured educational programmes including pre-nursery, nursery and pre-preparatory classes. Presently, the playschool chain functions on a franchise model, runs about 55 centers in Hyderabad and Bengaluru.
The Pune-based company also operates a community platform called FirstCry Parenting, where it gets 13 million monthly active users. It has also an activity based subscription box called Intellikit that is an activity based learning program designed for the holistic development of toddlers, pre-schoolers & kids (2-6 Years).
Since its outset, the Pune-based FirstCry has acquired investments from leading corporate firms like Softbank, Mahindra Group, Chiratae Ventures (formerly known as IDG Ventures India), New Enterprise Associates, SAIF Partners, Vertex Ventures and a few others to name. The company has raised more than USD 400 million last year from SoftBank Vision Fund and is valued at around USD 850 million. Currently, the company has about 400 offline stores in 28 states in India and had recently expanded internationally starting with Dubai.
Founded in 2010, Oi Play School currently runs 55 pre-school centers, most of them in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. It is regarded as one of the fastest growing playschool chain in India to being featured amongst the top pre-schools of Hyderabad & Bangalore.
Founded by Supam Maheshwari and Amitava Saha in 2010, FirstCry offers more than two lakh baby and kids products across categories that include diapering, feeding and nursing, skin and health care, toys, clothes, footwear and fashion accessories among others. The platform presents a varied and an all-encompassing range of products from an array of brands including global names such as Funskool, Hotwheels, Medela, Pampers, Disney etc. In 2016, FirstCry had bought Mahindra’s babycare business division BabyOye for about Rs. 362 crores.