Creator of Popular Robots That Pair Learning with Fun Raises $41 Million Amidst Growing Demand for Computer Science and Robotics Education
Funding Will Enable Wonder Workshop to Inspire Even More Girls and Boys, Continuing Critical Work to Close Gender Gap in STEM Fields Through CleverBots Dash, Dot, and Cue
SAN MATEO, Calif., Oct. 31, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Wonder Workshop, creators of iconic clever robots that teach kids of all ages creative problem solving, coding, and robotics, announced today that it has closed a Series C funding round and associated financing of $41 million, including investments from leading technology and education investors Tencent Holdings, TAL Education Group, MindWorks Ventures, Madrona Venture Group, Softbank Korea, and VTRON Group. Also investing in this round were current investors TCL Capital, Sinovation Ventures, Bright Success, WI Harper, and CRV.
The new funding will enable Wonder Workshop to reach and inspire more girls, boys, educators, and parents to explore coding and robotics. Wonder Workshop plans to expand its software platform, while growing its presence in the consumer market and continuing to drive market leadership among schools.
"We are impressed by Wonder Workshop's success and momentum in inspiring girls and boys of all ages to learn the skills they will need for the rapidly approaching 'future of work.' Wonder Workshop is leading the industry in creating robots that are changing the way parents and educators introduce both young kids and teenagers to the magical world of coding and robotics, and beginning the important work of closing persistent opportunity gaps," said David Chang of MindWorks Ventures. "We are excited by the progress that Vikas and the team have made, and look forward to partnering with them moving forward."
Recent research from Gallup found that 91 percent of parents want their children to learn computer science, and with increased support for computer science at the federal and state levels, more districts are looking to infuse coding and robotics into their classrooms. Wonder Workshop's CleverBots are programmable robots that, with a magic mix of purpose-built hardware and sophisticated software, give both parents and educators an easy-to-use set of tools and lessons to meet this growing demand, while sparking interest in computer science for students as young as five years old. Since the first robots were shipped in 2014, more than eight million programs have been created by kids from countries across the world.
"Today's children already have the most important traits for tomorrow's economy: budding, curious minds. But we owe them access to tools that will unlock their incredible capacity for invention and exploration," said Vikas Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Wonder Workshop. "We founded Wonder Workshop to provide all children — girls and boys of all ages — with the skills needed to succeed in the future economy. This round of financing will allow us to continue on our mission to inspire the inventors of tomorrow."
The CleverBots — Dash, Dot, and now Cue — guide kids' exploration of STEM principles through activities suited to all ages, and introduce kids as young as age five to a world of lifelong-learning and fun via lovable robots that encourage problem-solving. Launched in September of 2017, Wonder Workshop's newest robot, Cue, is a witty, entertaining robot designed for kids aged 11 and up, with four hero avatars that take personality and interactive communication to an entirely new level.
The robots are currently used in more than 12,000 classrooms worldwide and are featured in the fast-growing Wonder League Robotics Competition, which drew more than 20,000 participants last year. Student who participate in the competition use coding and robotics skills to solve social impact challenges. Last year, 47 percent of participants, including the winning Pink Eagles team from Michigan, were girls.
About Wonder Workshop
Founded in 2012, Wonder Workshop's mission is to spark creativity with kids of all ages, inspiring lifelong learning through our clever robotics platform. The company is committed to helping children succeed in the 21st century and developing in-depth experiences that balance fun and learning, promote collaboration, and provide enduring value to both girls and boys at home and in the classroom. Our award-winning products are used at home and in more than 12,000 schools worldwide.
Wonder Workshop runs the annual Wonder League Robotics competition, which attracted 5,300 teams from 52 countries in 2016. Registration for the 2017 Wonder League Robotics competition is now open. Teams can enter to compete for a $5,000 STEM grant grand prize at the official contest page.