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Think Big. Move Fast.

Like many parents, I rely on a set of tricks skills to get my 3 year old daughter to do the things I know are good for her like eating well, brushing her teeth, etc. – things like turning these activities into a game. That idea is the basis of the interactive educational apps market; take things that are educational and make them fun for kids to do so they want to go back and play over and over again while learning valuable skills in the process.

The concept is not new, as anyone who had a Speak & Spell as a child can tell you. But, with the accelerating penetration of smartphones and tablets, there are new opportunities for interactive education companies to build accessible, affordable and meaningful products to address a market of 50 million children ages 2-12 in the U.S today.

Beyond my own interests as a parent, I am really excited about the interactive educational apps market for several reasons:

  • Multi-purpose smartphones/tablets are increasingly already in the home and offer a platform to deliver high-quality content without the need to purchase specialized hardware the way that companies like Leapfrog have .  Last quarter alone, apple shipped around 20M iPads while Leapfrog has fewer than 10M TOTAL installed devices.
  •  The market opportunity for interactive educational apps is huge: parents of children ages 2 – 12 spend Billions of dollars on kids toys each year with “edu-tainment” toys representing more than $1B last year
  • Finally, tablets and smartphones have become a passive babysitter for parents on planes, in cars, in stores etc.  A recent survey found that half of children under the age of two spend about 2 hours a day in front of a screen with tablets/smartphones rapidly growing their share of screen time.

Which is why I am thrilled to announce that we’ve invested alongside Sequoia Capital in the largest independent developer of children’s applications, Duck Duck Moose today.

With more than 2.4 million paid app downloads, Duck Duck Moose has become one of the industry’s most popular designers of quality, educational children’s apps.  The company was founded in 2008 by three friends who share a passion for children, music, education, design, and play. With a small team and no marketing support, the company has created 14 top-selling titles for iOS and Android including Wheels on the Bus, Old MacDonald, Itsy Bitsy Spider and Fish School, all of which have earned top spots in the app store.

In addition, they have won 14 Parent’s Choice Awards, 13 Children’s Technology Review Editor’s Choice Awards and a KAPi award for the “Best Children’s App” at CES.  So if you haven’t already, check out one of Duck Duck Moose’s incredible apps.

Part of the company’s plans for their funding is to bring on more designers and developers to help the company build more great apps, if you are interested, check out their career page: http://www.duckduckmoosedesign.com/our-story/careers/

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