With children learning how to work a tablet or iPhone before they can speak, it's easy to see why the children's app publisher Mindshapes has been able to pull together $5 million in its series A round of funding.
The London and San Francisco-headquartered company that promotes learning through mobile and browser-based games accumulated this round of funding from the founders and an unnamed angel investor.
Founded last October, Mindshapes games include a range of kids apps for children ages for ages two-12, including an upcoming game called Magic Town, where kids (ages 2-6) are introduced to an interactive story and can create and learn from characters in-game. Magic Town will be available as both an app and web-based game in the next few months -- Mindshapes has even signed deals with publishers for popular titles including Elmer, Winnie the Witch and Little Princess to be weaved into the virtual world.
The industry of children-based applications is a fast growing and expansive one, according to the research company NPD Group, which found that the gaming occurring between ages 2-17 has increased by 12.68% since 2009. As of last month, 64 million kids (91% of the U.S. population of children ages 2-17), were gaming in some capacity.
“Year-to-date through August 2011, kids comprised 44 percent of new physical software dollar sales, representing a vitally important consumer segment for the games industry,” Anita Frazier, industry analyst, The NPD Group, said in a statement. “Knowing how kids are spending their gaming time and dollars in both traditional and non-traditional outlets is key to staying relevant to this highly engaged audience.”
The one-year-old company has a handful of apps in the iTunes store that range from $1.99 to $2.99 and include the Halloween-themed Casper Scare School, which allows users to play memory games and the Lingo Zoo which includes jigsaw puzzles and teaching games matching animals with their names and sounds.
Last year, mobile applications were estimated to become a $17.5 billion by 2012 and children's games and learning applications would be a substantial portion of that market.
The company has a small catalog thus far but with this new round of funding, its partnership with bigger name publishers and its talent that has worked at children content mainstays such as Playfish, Sesame Workshop, Scholastic, HarperCollins, and Sony, the company shows promise for making a name for itself.
“We are passionate about using the latest technology and contemporary educational thinking to change the way that children learn around the world," CEO if Mindshapes, David Begg, said in a statement. "This investment will accelerate our plans to become the world's most trusted digital publisher of high quality educational games, books and learning worlds as we continue to expand.”
The company is also poised to launch an adult application in the next few months called Language City -- this app is designed to weave together games that help users learn forigen languages.
Image Source -- Momswithpapps