Storypod, a screen-free IoT system that engages kids 0-10 independently with stage-based audio edutainment, has raised $4 million in seed funding. Infinitas Capital led the round.
MIAMI, FL / Jan 26, 2022 / Storypod, a screen-free IoT system that engages kids 0-10 independently with stage-based audio edutainment, today announced that it has raised a $4M Seed round led by Infinitas Capital following better-than-forecasted Q4 sales. The capital injection adds to the company’s $2M angel funds raised in 2021 and its vast crowdfunding success pre-launch in 2020.
“After the great success of screenless audio players in children’s rooms in Europe, Infinitas found Storypod to be by far the most promising candidate for this product category for the US market. Its interactive and education-focused system approach – not just the development of a speaker – together with an exceptional and visionary team of founders will make Storypod a household name for screen-conscious parents within the shortest time.”, says Thorsten Schroeder, Infinitas Venture Partner and designated Storypod board member.
Storypod will use the funds to build out its team, product lines, and content library, in its pursuit of becoming a leading US player in a globally emerging ‘audio for kids’ space.
“These funds are just the beginning of an ambitious vision to create more than a scaling and profitable company; we ultimately aim to ignite children’s love of learning through screen-free, stage-based, interactive audio edutainment.”, says Daniel Buelhoff, Co-Founder and CEO of Storypod.
US parents are increasingly concerned with their children’s screen time, but struggle to find effective alternatives that combine entertainment and education in an interactive way. Thousands of US parents have already turned to Storypod to engage their kids independently, teach them age-appropriate topics, and improve their bedtime routine — all without screens. Storypod achieves this through its namesake device, a wifi-connected NFC speaker that allows kids to interact with a variety of age-appropriate content triggers, including yarn audio characters, read-along books, and interactive flash cards that play original and licensed songs, stories, podcasts, learning topics, and games.
After starting to deliver pre-orders in March 2021, Storypod has struggled to keep up with surging demand and has had to navigate a complex supply chain situation to sustain its double-digit month-over-month growth. Despite pandemic-fueled logistical challenges, Storypod managed to grow its product lines and launch its first licensed properties, including PBS Kids headliner Fred Rogers Productions’ Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
“When we set out to build Storypod, we heard from a lot of investors that ‘hardware is hard and unsexy’ and were told that launching a complex IoT hardware business during a global pandemic would be impossible. But against all odds, we survived the ‘hardware startup valley of death’ – all thanks to strong early supporters, an amazing and experienced team with an endless drive, and a passionate community of parents fueling our word-of-mouth growth. We’re thrilled to build out this amazing company with our new partners and growing team.”, concludes Daniel.