ToyTalk, the kids entertainment applications startup founded by former Pixar execs has raised $15 million in a Series C round of financing led by Khosla Ventures. Former investors Greylock, First Round Capital, Charles River Ventures and True Ventures join this latest round, putting the total raised at $30 million.
Khosla partner Samir Kaul joins the company board, which includes David Sze and Adam Nash from Greylock and Saar Gur from CRV.
The fresh funds allow the company to beef up its engineering team and create more applications as well as forge partnerships with companies that can help the company produce physical toy products in the coming year.
ToyTalk released a teaser video a few years back showing a Teddy Ruxpin like talking bear that interacted with children via iPad.
That was just an idea of what could become a product in the future, according to ToyTalk CEO Oren Jacob. But he’s not in the business of making physical products. ToyTalk’s plan is to license the tech to toy manufacturers. Jacob’s main focus here is compliance. “We don’t want to make the products. We want our partners to do that,” he explains. “This is about the kid Internet of Things. A lot of that has to do with compliance…As a parent that’s important to me, too,” he says.
Google has made its way into what Jacob calls the kid Internet of Things. The tech giant is coming out with separate versions of certain products to ensure they are more kid-friendly. “The big motivator inside the company is everyone is having kids, so there’s a push to change our products to be fun and safe for children,” Pavni Diwanji, VP of engineering said in an interview with USA Today.
ToyTalk recently partnered with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit producer of Sesame Street, to explore the potential between ToyTalk’s PullString technology, the tech behind speech recognition applications and Sesame Street products.
We are very pleased with the investment we’ve had from Khosla and others,” Jacob said. “They support what we are trying to do here with the technology.”
*We had previously reported that this was a Series B round of financing. However, this was a Series C. Both Crunchbase and this article have since been updated with the correction.