SA ed-tech startup Play Sense raises funding to assist expansion plans

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South Africa’s Play Sense, an independent pre-school that offers play-based learning through its online micro-schools platform plaDorm, has secured an undisclosed funding round from Grindstone Ventures as it prepares for expansion.

Founded by early childhood experts Meg Faure and Lara Schoenfeld, Play Sense combines various types of play to develop toddlers and pre-schoolers core skills and school readiness. Its micro-school model enables teachers to set up their own playschools at home or in a space provided by one of the families in the group. 

The franchise programme, dubbed a “business in a box,” equips entrepreneurs with comprehensive training, a Play Kit, and operational, admin, marketing, and teacher support. Faure said Play Sense provides a cost-effective and highly-scalable model for progressive preschool education. 

“This empowers women who are passionate about early childhood to  become successful entrepreneurs and create lasting impact in their communities – both through education and economic empowerment,” she said.

So far, over 1,200 children have benefited from play-based learning since the company’s launch, and the funding from Grindstone Ventures, which invests in companies with strong intellectual property and exponential growth potential, will help Play Sense enhance its  franchise model and accelerate growth. 

“We are excited to have Play Sense join our portfolio of investee companies, as they are reimagining early child education by offering a secure bridge between home and pre-school, creating an environment that supports collaboration, creativity, self regulation and adaptability. Perfect ingredients to spark a desire for lifelong learning in future generations,” she said.

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