Earlier this month LAUNCHub, the Sofia-based 9M Euro Seed & Acceleration fund, selected Jumpido as its newest investee from the education sector – a field that seems to be raising the interest of an increasing number of local entrepreneurs. Kiril Rusev, co-founder and CEO of Nimero – the company behind Jumpido, confirmed the news, however, he did not disclose the amount of the funding. According to LAUNCHub, the seed investments can go up to 200.000 euros depending on the stage the startup is in.
Jumpido, launched earlier this year, comprises a series of educational games focused on primary school mathematics that make use of Microsoft’s Kinect motion-sensor system. With a price tag of 299 euros, the game package has already been purchased by 35 Bulgarian schools, however, the team’s ambitions don’t stop there. “In the next six months, we’re planning to reach out to about 300 schools, and at least four foreign markets,” Rusev told inventures.eu.
At the point, Jumpido offers six games, which allow teachers to choose a theme, while the software monitors the children’s performance within the game and adapts the content to their level. “We’re currently preparing new math themes and games, and we’re planning to introduce other school subjects as well,” Rusev added.
Nimero already has a successful educational startup in its portfolio. Envision, a teaching platform that provides instant feedback to students and teachers, earned the team the title “Startup of the year 2011 Bulgaria.” Over 200 schools in Bulgaria, Spain, Cyprus, and the US, among others, have adopted the Envision platform for thebenefit of more than 20,000 students. (More information is available here).
There is a growing demand for innovative educational tools, Rusev believes. “Bulgarian teachers are looking towards new technologies as a means to their work, and when these come in an accessible and easy-to-use way, they raise major interest. Our success with Nimero showed us that there is definitely a market for developing innovative ideas in the field of education,” he said.
Disrupting the sector of education
Jumpido is LAUNCHub’s third investment in a startup geared towards education. Previously, the accelerator has invested in ucha.se – a platform for educational videos based on the school curriculum, and featuring lessons for students in grades 5-11, and in Habbits – a fun application that helps kids build long lasting habits and frees parents from constantly reminding their children to do their chores. They were accepted into LAUNCHub’s Acceleration Programme already in July 2012, and received 30.000 euros of funding in exchange for 8-10% of their equity.
When ucha.se was first chosen for the programme, the accelerator’s team explained that the startup had the potential to disrupt “the public, as well as the private tutoring sector” in a time of growing demand for better education. It seems like others have embraced the same opportunity, with Nimero as one of the main players.
Additional reporting by Mina Nacheva.