REDONDO BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Evollve Inc., the hardware maker behind Ozobot (www.ozobot.com), today announced it raised $3 million in a Series A preferred funding round led by Tribeca Venture Partners. Ozobot builds smart, small and social robots that teach the creative side of coding. Funds will be used to support product development of the Ozobot Bit, Ozobot Evo and additional missions and games.
Nielsen says people spend about 12 hours a day consuming digital media. Ozobot’s mission is to cut that screen time in half and turn consumers of technology into creators. It’s currently growing 400 percent year-over-year, and its product reaches 1 million kids around the world. Ozobot goes beyond the home. It’s in 3,000 classrooms and is used to teach art, English, history, science and more. Teachers who use Ozobot report their students have a 70% better retention rate.
Ozobot recently previewed some of its 2017 product developments at CES. This year, it plans to release level 5 of OzoBlockly, bot-to-bot recognition, and a limited edition rose gold Evo.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Tribeca Venture Partners, which has a proven track record of working with tech, commerce and entertainment startups, to continue building the best product and work toward our mission of cutting screen time in half,” said Nader Hamda, founder and CEO of Ozobot. “Their investment in us pushes us to become even more laser-focused on providing the most fun, engaging and creative experience for all, with even more missions, games and use cases than before.”
By coloring on a piece of paper, users can bring Ozobot to life through a patented language of color commands, which can direct the Ozobot to spin, dance, speed up, slow down, zigzag and more. Ozobots have three tiers of play: 1) color commands, 2) block-based programming with OzoBlockly, based off of Google’s Blockly and 3) missions, which let users unlock new levels and discover more while boosting coding skills and creativity.
“Our commitment to Ozobot signifies our firm belief that they’re the best way for kids and adults alike to learn the creative side of coding,” said Brian Hirsch, co-founder and managing partner at Tribeca Venture Partners. “Its patent on the color command language makes it the simplest way to learn how to code, and its OzoBlockly language gets so advanced that it keeps PhDs entertained. We’re thrilled to be partnering with them as they grow their business to new heights.”
Ozobot has shipped more than half a million units to date. The tech toy market is worth $150 billion, and Gartner predicts smart toy sales will grow globally from 8M units this year to 421M units by 2020.
For more information on Ozobot, please visit www.ozobot.com.
ABOUT EVOLLVE, INC.
Evollve Inc., maker of the popular Ozobot smart robot, is a company dedicated to blending creative thinking with business disciplines to bring new ideas to market. Evollve’s focus is on introducing new ways to combine social interaction with digital apps. Ozobot launched in fall 2014 with the vision to create an innovative way to play, learn and socially interact in an ever-expanding digital world. Through game applications and creative curriculums, Ozobot introduces interactive robots by blending entertainment and education in the family room as well as the classroom. Their mission is to provide learners as well as gamers of all ages a new option to play, learn and interact as well as inspire them to make the jump from using technology to actively shaping and creating it. For more information on Evollve Inc. and Ozobot, please visit www.ozobot.com.
ABOUT TRIBECA VENTURE PARTNERS
Tribeca Venture Partners (TVP) is an early stage venture capital fund based in New York City. TVP partners with world class entrepreneurs leveraging emerging technologies and business models to create and disrupt huge markets. TVP serves entrepreneurs who transform industries and build great companies. As active, long-term partners to our entrepreneurs, TVP contributes capital and strategic advice. TVP invests across a wide variety of industry and technology sectors including adtech, fintech, healthcare IT, consumer tech, AI & machine learning, digital media, Software as a Service (SaaS) and mobile tech. For more information visit www.tribecavp.com.