Kinjo, an educational technology platform focused on improving the value of kids’ screen time, has recently announced that it has raised $6.5M in a seed round led by LiveOak Venture Partners. The investment round also saw participation from other investors, including Silverton Partners, Breyer Capital, and Roble Ventures.
Kinjo, co-founded by EdTech veterans Charles Thornburgh and Laura Malcolm, is an entirely new learning app that combines parents’ goals and children’s interests to level up screen time learning. The software encourages children to play educator-evaluated activities and pays them to take on significant challenges and learn more. It provides a weekly digest for parents that offers insight into the level of challenge in their children’s gameplay, the time they spend, the friends they play with the most, and the skills they are developing.
Speaking about the company, Co-founder & CEO of Kinjo, Charles Thornburgh, said:
As a career education entrepreneur and parent, I know firsthand how hard it is to build educational products that can compete with the games and videos that hold our kids’ attention. At Kinjo, we flipped that model. Instead of trying to drag them away from the platforms they love, we are meeting kids where they are and rewarding them for building skills in the games and media that have already captured their imaginations. Starting with Roblox was an easy choice because of its incredible traction with young learners and its remarkable diversity of experiences. Still, our sights are set on each digital platform our children find most compelling.
The startup’s initial apps, which transform Roblox into a family learning platform, have already supported thousands of youngsters to spend 3X more of their Roblox time on games handpicked by education professionals to provide high cognitive challenges. Kinjo’s next goal is to bring enjoyable learning to the time kids already spend on YouTube, Minecraft, and other popular online platforms.
Adding further about the platform, Co-founder of Kinjo and Head of Product, Laura Malcolm, said:
As a former teacher, I see the importance of agency and choice for kids, who have so little control over their own lives and how they spend their time. By creating truly child-centred products, Kinjo is channelling natural passion and joy to unlock potential and empower children to love – and succeed at – learning.
Kinjo launched a product in the Apple app store that over 20,000 children already use to earn rewards for choosing screen time with higher learning value. It is testing a parent service that involves parents by demonstrating to them the abilities their children are developing. With the proceeds, the company hopes to broaden its reach and monetization. It also intends to grow into additional gaming and media platforms.
Commenting on the fundraising, Board Member & Founding Partner of LiveOak Venture Partners, Krishna Srinivasan, added:
As an investor, I have come across so many educational products spurned by kids they failed to engage, and as a parent, I have seen kids immerse themselves in games that are far from enriching. Charles and Laura have parlayed their successful background in building scaled education businesses into progress toward education’s holy grail: a model that delivers baked-in engagement, scalability, and efficacy, which is thrilling to me as an investor and a parent.