Piper Raises $7.6M to Help Parents Battle Idle Screen Time
San Francisco-based EdTech company Piper has raised $7.6 million in Series A funding from lead venture capital firm Owl Ventures and other notable investors.
Piper is the creator of a DIY computer kit that promises to stimulate young minds to learn computing concepts while providing an alternative to passive, mind-numbing ‘screen time’ prevalent with so many 8 to 12 year olds.
Piper’s first computer kit includes an array of electronics designed to entice naturally curious kids with little to no experience with computers or programming to open the box and begin playing with its components.
“This is an exciting time in Piper’s development, with the support from our investors we will continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people around the world,” said Mark Pavlyukovskyy, co-founder and CEO of Piper. “Piper is enabling and empowering the creators and innovators of tomorrow with our captivating STEM based educational DIY Piper Computer Kit.”
The video below provides a short overview of the company’s first computer kit:
The company’s initial Raspberry Pi-based computer kit is priced at $299 and management has plans to introduce additional kits at lower price points.
Already in more than 500 schools in the U.S. and 750 schools internationally, the kit has received an enthusiastic endorsement from Steve Wozniak, cofounder of Apple, and has been the No.1 seller on Amazon in the STEM educational toy category.
With the current round, Piper has raised $10.1 million from new investor Owl Ventures and past investors Stanford StartX, SV Tech Ventures and Reach Capital. The new round also includes Charles Huang, co-founder of the popular consumer product Guitar Hero.
EdTech-focused Owl Ventures stepped up enthusiastically as the lead firm for the new funding.
“Active learning strategies versus passively consuming content encourage kids to problem solve, promotes creative thinking and builds confidence,” said Ashley Bittner, principal at Owl. “Piper taps into kids’ imaginations while providing a rich experience where they learn to build and code.”
Owl has tightly focused its investment approach on education technology startups, funding 14 disclosed companies and previously raised $100 million for its debut fund. The firm is in the process of closing its second fund at around $200 million.
As the demand for more computer literate individuals increases in a world that is transitioning from analog to digital, there is a growing need for early childhood educational tools that stimulate and entice kids to want to learn more.
Piper’s mission is to seed young minds with innovative products designed to help them prepare for an increasingly computer-driven world.