By Greg Anderson
Finnish ed-tech startups are starting to really build off of Finland's education brand and raise some funding. SkillPixels announces today that it has raised $2.1 million (€1.65 million in a round led by private investors and soft money from Tekes' Young Innovative Companies program.
SkillPixels' first title is SmartKid, an iOS game to teach math for preschool, 1st grade, and 2nd grade curriculum (like 4-8 year olds). Looking at the app I think I could definitely beat it - the game teaches everything between shapes, numbers, clock and time, multiplication, fractions, and plenty of other stuff. SmartKid has 100 progressive levels to throw at your soon-to-be smark kid and has managed to differentiate itself from other children's apps and get to get featured under the Best New Apps & Games for Kids category in the iTunes App Store in 79 countries.
“We apply the 'Learn by Teaching' method: instead of the child being taught by a computer, he or she teaches a virtual game character. This motivates the child to invest time and effort to overcome challenges as opposed to being discouraged and de-motivated by more traditional methods," explains Dr. Harri Ketamo, SkillPixels Chief Scientist and co-founder.
After a free download you can purchase the complete game for €4,49, or nail down each year's curriculum for €1,79 for Kindergarten, or first grade and onward for €2,69.
With the funding SkillPixels is currently working on its next titles: SmartParent and SmartKidTM Nature, which will be launched later in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015.
It's been a while since we've written about an app in the education space raising so much money, so it will be really interesting how they hold onto the charts with this app and their next launches. But for now, they seem to be doing alright.