Play-i was founded by Vikas Gupta, Mikal Greaves and Saurabh Gupta — inventors, designers, programmers and parents. The company was created to build delightful robots for children to program and learn, developing needed skills at a very young age. Over 30 days the Play-i raised $1.4 million in a pretail crowdfunding campaign capturing almost 11,000 orders for their robots. Play-i starts shipping the robots later this year.
Now the company has announced that it has raised $8M in series A financing from Madrona Venture Group and Charles River Ventures.
“We are excited to have Madrona and Charles River on board as investors in Play-i. This financing will help us expand our team and invest in building and growing the software platform for Bo & Yana,” said Gupta.
Play-i is also announcing a partnership with more than 100 developers who have signed up for early access to its API, and plans to release the API for broader use when the robots are shipped. In addition, Play-i has over 200 schools that have signed up to use Bo & Yana to teach programming in their curriculum. Currently, Play-i is working closely with a subset of these schools to run pilot programs.
“The response to our robots is humbling — the support from parents and children around the world inspires us,” said Vikas Gupta, co-founder and CEO of Play-i. “Bo & Yana will arrive with hundreds of hours of play and learning, and we will continue to extend that over time through the software on touch devices.”
Play-i plans to use the series A financing towards growing their team. Play-i has been growing, attracting talent from companies like Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe and Google.
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