Edtech platform founded by McKinsey alumni ropes in funding

21 April 2021 Consulting.us 2 min. read

EdCraft, an early education platform founded by a group of McKinsey & Company alumni, has secured $1 million in pre-seed funding from Silicon Valley-based angel investors. The startup will use the money to expand into the US.

EdCraft is the English localization of Umnazia, a Russian online educational platform for primary school children. The platform provides story-driven, game-based learning courses created by top educators and PhDs. Learning topics focus on life skills (financial literacy, emotional intelligence, and sex education) and STEM subjects (chemistry, physics, and math).

The platform is accessible on web and mobile, and allows parents and educators to monitor performance statistics through interactive dashboards. Rather than using the increasingly ubiquitous subscription format, EdCraft allows customers to purchase courses permanently – in bundles or a la carte.

Edtech platform founded by McKinsey alumni ropes in funding

"Thanks to animated storytelling, children see our learning courses as games or cartoons," said Galina Kan, EdCraft cofounder. "As a parent myself, I believe that a good school curriculum is essential, but often not sufficient for a child's development. We collected feedback from thousands of users to create a product that will help children excel in life, both personally and professionally."

The firm was launched by a group of former colleagues from McKinsey’s Moscow office.

Kan started her career as a market research analyst at Coca-Cola, before spending five years at McKinsey as an engagement manager. She subsequently joined Moscow Consulting Group, where she is currently a partner. Kan holds an MBA from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in mathematics from Moscow State University.

Other executives at EdCraft include Ganya Shabad and Anton Elemoso. Shabad was an engagement manager at McKinsey before moving on to serve as an executive at several real estate holding companies. She holds a PhD in physics from Stanford University and a master’s degree in physics from Moscow State University.

Elemoso was a senior business analyst at McKinsey before joining Moscow Consulting Group. He is currently the chief operating officer at Vivax Bio, a 3D bioprinting solutions firm. Elemoso holds an MD from Moscow State University.

With the angel investment, EdCraft will angle to take advantage of the current edtech boom driven by the global Covid-19 pandemic. Leading platform Coursera, for example, saw revenue jump $293.5 million in 2020 – up approximately 59% from the prior year.

"There's no going back when it comes to using technology in education," said Galina Kan. "But remote learning should also help students with their emotional well-being and social integration, as well as teaching essential life skills, and that's exactly what EdCraft is doing."

The firm will also accelerate its expansion plans in the United States. The platform has already been tested by more than 130,000 parents in Europe, according to a release from the firm.