Yogome, a Mexican edtech startup that makes kids games for the iPad, has raised $6.6 million in Series A funding. Leading the round is Spanish VC Seaya Ventures, with participation from Variv Capital, and Endeavor Catalyst. The company had previously raised $3.2 million in seed funding and is also backed by 500 Startups.
Founded by Manolo Diaz and Alberto Colin in 2011, Yogome provides a subscription-based educational gaming service for iOS and Android tablets that targets kids aged 6-11. Its mini-games claim to be pedagogically sound and are developed in conjunction with educational experts, including work done with Yale University to measure the efficacy of the company’s math games for 1st grade students.
“Kids are growing up with iPads, is their new favorite toy, so parents are worried their kids will only consume entertainment content, and are looking for educational options so they can take advantage of that time,” says Yogome co-founder and CEO Manolo Diaz. “That’s exactly what we want to solve, to take some of that time and make it productive time for kids in front of mobile devices and soon available for browsers in desktops”.
With that said, Diaz concedes the kids educational gaming market is a crowded space, but argues that Yogome is seeing success because the startup has focussed on creating “an engaging story for the kids where they are the heroes who save the world with the power of their knowledge”.
“Kids are our users and parents our customers, that’s why we need to make sure that the product is as educational as we can so parents are confident about their kids using the product,” he adds. “For kids we have to be as fun and engaging so they are hooked to the story and want to play it over and over”.
Getting kids “hooked” also feeds into Yogome’s subscription-based revenue model. The startup’s app can be downloaded for free and comes with 25 credits which allows for 2 hours playing time. To continue, parents are asked to select a monthly or yearly subscription that provides unlimited access to the game-based curriculum covering 8 different subjects (from maths to coding to health), which are available in 4 different languages. There’s also a parent dashboard separate from the mini-games app.
Meanwhile, I’m told that 95 per cent of Yogome’s subscribers are in the U.S., Latin America, and Southeast Asia, while the startup has seen take up in more than 50 countries. The new funding will be used to help Yogome in its goal to reach 1 million subscribers and to continue its geographical expansion to China, Korea and Japan.