Shikho, a Bangladeshi education technology startup, has raised $1.3 million in its seed funding round led by New York-based early-stage venture capital firm Anchorless Bangladesh and LearnStart, the seed fund of Learn Capital.
The round also included participation from Wavemaker Partners and Ankur Nagpal, founder & CEO of the online learning platform Teachable.
This is the first time Wavemaker Partners has invested in a Bangladeshi venture and the sixth deal for Anchorless Bangladesh since 2020.
Shikho is on a mission to revolutionize the way Bangladeshi students learn today and democratize access to a high-quality education. It allows students to learn at their own pace, test themselves, and get ahead with its expert teachers anytime and anywhere. Shikho’s platform also offers students with academic courses that include affordable digital resources and tools to help students succeed in national board exams.
The startup was started in April 2020 by Shahir Chowdhury, who earlier worked in finance and business, including as a director at HSBC UK’s Private Bank, and Zeeshan Zakaria, who also worked in finance before becoming a mathematics teacher.
With the support of global institutional investors, Shikho plans to use the proceeds from the financing to accelerate product development and bring on high-caliber hires as they continue expanding the team.
Speaking on the development, Shahir Chowdhary, Co-founder & CEO of Shikho, said,
"By building a digital learning ecosystem that caters to the modern Bangladeshi student and democratizes access to a world-class and enjoyable learning experience, we believe Shikho will have a powerful and lasting impact for generations to come."
The EdTech startup addresses other parts of the Bangladeshi students’ journey as well; including summarized “smart notes” that include definitions, formulae, proofs, and hacks.
Zeeshan Zakaria, Co-founder & COO of Shikho, added saying,
"We are incredibly careful with our content and thoughtful about how we construct each lesson. We know that parents are trusting us with an important part of their children’s education."
Shikho’s learning app also includes features such as in-app testing, automated analysis and reporting of results, a recommendation engine that prompts students to watch videos based on their testing performance, and a variety of gamification features that allow students to earn points and badges as they progress through their syllabus. The Dhaka-based learning platform also aspires to improve educational outcomes for students by gamifying the learning experience.
Anchorless Bangladesh founding partner and CEO Rahat Ahmed said in a statement,
"Bangladesh has one of the largest allocations of private education expenditure as a percentage of disposable income in the world but lags behind countries like India and Indonesia when it comes to EdTech funding. The market is primed for growth and we believe the team at Shikho is well-fit to lead the charge and take education to the next level."
The founders of Shikho are also planning a Teacher’s Academy to recruit teachers with experience and train them further to be able to give instruction and feedback to students on the platform.
Shikho has a team of ambitious engineers, educators, and product designers, who are passionate about creating a unique and world-class mobile learning application, designed specifically for the Bangladeshi national curriculum.
Prior to this round, Shikho had raised a total amount of $275,000. It had last raised $175,000 in its pre-seed funding round in December 2020.