BY: Mpofu Sthandile.

Play Sense, which is an independent preschool that offers play-based learning through its micro-schools online platform, has secured an undisclosed funding round from Grindstone Ventures as it prepares for expansion.

The funding support to Play Sense will enable it to enhance its franchise model and accelerate growth. With Grindstone’s support, Play Sense is well-positioned for success and committed to expanding its reach in providing high-quality early childhood education to children globally. The investment also fits well into Grindstone’s mandate of enabling global expansion for South African startups.

Play Sense is a Grindstone Ventures portfolio company, a fund that invests in companies with strong intellectual property and exponential growth potential, with the aim of generating long-term capital growth and sustainable cash yields for investors.

Catherine Young, managing partner of Grindstone Ventures, says: “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 preschool, creating an environment that supports collaboration, creativity, self-regulation and adaptability. Perfect ingredients to spark a desire for lifelong learning in future generations.”

According to co-founder Meg Faure, 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,” Faure says. The Play Sense franchise programme includes everything needed to start a profitable playschool at one of the most affordable prices available on the market.

Play Sense combines various types of play to develop toddlers’ and preschoolers’ core skills and school readiness. Play Sense’s unique 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. Additionally, Play Sense assists in finding and securing loans for entrepreneurs.

Grindstone Ventures is a majority female-founded and managed fund with its’ anchor funder being The SA SME Fund, headed by Ketso Gordhan. Along with Play Sense, Grindstone Ventures has seven other portfolio companies in their fold, including AgrilogiQ, Welo Health, Ma]er Industries, Drive to Own, SNci, Locstat and Locumbase.


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