CULVER CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Encantos, an award-winning edtech company focused on helping kids learn 21st century skills through digital and physical play, today announced it has raised $5.7 million from a group of renowned investors. Encantos closed a $3.2 million series seed priced round led by Precursor Ventures with participation from Angeles Ventures, Concrete Rose Capital, Metrodora Ventures, Next Play Ventures, Portfolia’s Rising America Fund, and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. Among the additional investors are New American Funding President Patty Arvielo and former Zillow CEO and Co-Founder Spencer Rascoff, as well as early investors including Human Ventures, Kapor Capital, and MathCapital. The series seed priced round is the result of broad demand following an earlier note financing of $2.5 million, which included existing and new investors such as NBA All-Star and serial entrepreneur Baron Davis, private equity executive and Morales Capital CEO Angel Morales, and international business executive and new Encantos Chairman Sol Trujillo.
The new round of financing brings the company’s total funding to $8.5 million and will help Encantos accelerate its subscription services that deliver entertaining and engaging digital and physical learning products for pre-school and primary school-age children. Precursor Ventures partner Charles Hudson has joined the Encantos board of directors in connection with the financing.
The company also announced today that it has strengthened its leadership team with the addition of two key executives.
Julie Fleischer, an award-winning data-driven marketing leader with over 20 years of experience across customer acquisition, retention, insights, media, and marketing, has been named Chief Growth Officer of Encantos. In this new role, Fleischer will lead all of Encantos’ commercial and marketing teams overseeing revenue, customer acquisition, retention and loyalty, and marketing to position the company for its next phase of accelerated growth. Fleischer most recently served as SVP Customer Intelligence for WW (formerly Weight Watchers), where she led business intelligence, customer experience excellence, and marketing to drive subscription revenue and customer lifetime value. Previously, Fleischer held executive roles at Neustar, Omnicom Group, Kraft Heinz, and Digitas. She received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Taylor Margis-Noguera, a seasoned start-up founder and executive with over 20 years of experience leading cross-functional teams to drive scale, has been named Chief Operating Officer of Encantos. In this new role, Noguera will lead all of Encantos’ strategy, operations, finance, and legal functions. He has co-founded several companies and was most recently the Managing Partner of Vaudeville Ventures, a growth strategy consultancy working with both Fortune 100 firms and innovative start-ups. Previously, Noguera held leadership roles at LBi and Special Ops Media, after an early career in finance at Citigroup and JP Morgan. He received his BA from Brown University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
“I am pleased to welcome our new investors to the Encantos family and I am thrilled to have Julie and Taylor join our executive team,” said Steven Wolfe Pereira, Encantos Chief Executive Officer. “There has never been a greater need for teaching kids 21st century skills. While COVID-19 has only accelerated education’s digital transformation, it is clear that kids can’t just be in front of a screen for hours at a time. At Encantos, we believe kids learn best through play. With over 50% of kids in America now diverse, there is incredible demand for both cultural authenticity as well as our unique storyteaching approach using both digital and physical products. Storyteaching marries the best of entertainment and the most advanced concepts in educational pedagogy, to excite and engage children in the learning process. With the addition of new capital combined with world-class talent with deep experience in acquiring customers and scaling operations, we are prepared for our next stage of growth.”
“There are few companies out there tackling the hard-to-solve education challenges in the innovative way that Encantos is. Encantos has done an amazing job creating direct-to-consumer brands combining digital and physical products that help give kids and parents the support they need to enrich and supplement learning,” said Charles Hudson, Managing Partner and Founder of Precursor Ventures. “If this moment has taught us anything, it is that our educational system is not meeting the needs of the next generation of children. We need strong, innovative companies like Encantos to ensure learning takes place beyond the classroom and children develop the 21st century skills needed to reach their full potential. I’m excited to join the board and work closely with Steven, Susie and the Encantos team to usher in a new era of entertainment-led edtech for today’s kids and families.”
Launched in 2016 and led by Co-Founders Steven Wolfe Pereira (Chief Executive Officer) and Susie Jaramillo (President and Chief Creative Officer), Encantos’ offerings are designed for parents who are focused on teaching their kids 21st century learning, literacy, and life skills but don’t have the time or resources to curate the lessons, develop the experiences and provide the necessary materials. 21st century skills include learning skills (i.e., creativity, communication, collaboration, culture, and critical thinking), literacy skills (i.e., civics, environmental, financial, health and wellness, and STEAM) and life skills (i.e., adaptability, entrepreneurship, leadership, responsibility, and social-emotional). With its learner-centered approach to education that engages children through character-led, story-based play experiences, Encantos develops its subscription products and services with an accomplished in-house curriculum and learning design team along with an advisory council of education experts. The company is best known for its Emmy-nominated and 2 times Kidscreen award-winning #1 bilingual preschool brand Canticos (canticosworld.com).
A female-owned public benefit corporation, each Encantos brand supports a family-oriented social cause to give back to the community. To learn more, visit encantosbrands.com
Encantos is an edtech company that creates award-winning storytelling to make learning fun. Focused on teaching 21st century learning, literacy, and life skills, Encantos builds direct-to-consumer brands that kids and parents love. These brands come to life in a blended learning approach, so that the subscription apps and boxes, animated series, books, puzzles and games all work together to inspire kids to learn through play. Encantos' family brands include the Emmy-nominated and 2 times Kidscreen award-winning #1 bilingual preschool brand Canticos, the Day of the Dead-inspired resilience brand Skeletitos, and the adventure-based travel brand Tiny Travelers. Encantos has received numerous industry awards and accolades from the AP, ASU GSV, CNN, Common Sense Media, Forbes, Kidscreen, Kirkus Reviews, NBC News, The New York Times, NPR, Parents Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Romper, School Library Journal, Univision and USA Today. Headquartered in Culver City, CA, Encantos is a proud Latinx-led and women-owned public benefit corporation that puts diversity, equality, and inclusion at the heart of everything it creates. For more information, visit encantosbrands.com and follow @encantosbrands on Instagram and Twitter.
ABOUT PRECURSOR VENTURES
Precursor Ventures is a classic seed stage venture capital firm investing in long-term relationships with founders we believe in. Based in San Francisco, CA, Precursor has invested in 100+ companies and is excited about backing first-time founders who are building massive companies. For more information, visit https://precursorvc.com and follow @PrecursorVC on Instagram and Twitter.