On Feb. 24, LocoMotive Labs, developer of assistive and play-based educational apps for kindergarteners to second graders, announced that it has closed a $4M Series A financing round, led by major investors Softbank Ventures Korea and TAL Education Group. Until this date, LocoMotive Labs had raised $5.15 M from other prominent investors, including K9 Ventures, Kapor Capital, NewSchools Venture Fund, Joe Gleberman, D3Jubilee, and Jerry Colonna.
One of LocoMotive Labs’ developments is Todo Math, an educational app that provides more fun and accessible means of learning for children who struggle with mathematics. With the recently secured $4M fund, the developer intends to enter more classrooms in Asia and the US and expand their consumer presence around the globe.
Indeed, it was LocoMotive Labs’ view on elementary education that caught the attentions of investors like TAL Education and Softbank Ventures. Sooinn Lee, co-founder of LocoMotive, believes that “all kids have the natural ability to complete mathematical problems, they just need daily practice and tools to remove the obstacles in the way of their success.”
“Parents and educators in Asia, the US, and around the world are increasingly looking for tools and technologies that can make learning math fun instead of frustrating,” said Jason Wi, Principal at Softbank Ventures Korea. “We believe LocoMotive Labs’ deep understanding in gaming and interface design is second to none and will make an unprecedented impact on how children learn math.”
According to the Successful STEM Education Initiative, approximately 40 percent of US school children are not prepared for kindergarten, falling behind in basic mathematics. However, with insufficient guidance from teachers and student body with variety of backgrounds and skills, it is difficult for young students to enhance their skills and knowledge on their own.
In order to alleviate this issue, LocoMotive Labs’ flagship app, Todo Math, offers multi-level math games with more than 400 stages and 60 missions to help kindergarteners to students in second grade practice math both at home and at school. The app also uses the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework as the basis in development of the games, to help app users to learn and practice the fundamental math concepts.
“Our mission is to remove the obstacles that frustrate young learners and empower all children to develop the confidence and mathematics skills to be successful both inside and outside the classroom,” said Lee. “We’re excited to have the continued opportunity to expand our reach to even more families and educators, both at home and around the world.”
With a team made up of award-winning game developers and designers that work closely with parents and educators to help teach and support K-2 students with math, LocoMotive Labs apps have hit over 1 million downloads on the App Store, making it the most downloaded app in the education category in 20 countries, including the US and the UK, in 2014. Todo Math is available for download on the App Store in 7 different languages.