CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Dec. 18, 2013) - Gummii Inc., award-winning developer of the top-ranking iPad math app for kids, has closed a $1.3M round of angel financing led by Calgary businessman Eric Prosser and the Alberta Enterprise-backed Accelerate Fund.
"Gummii is a radical rethinking of how an educational game can work, both as a learning platform and as a business," said Prosser. "We're delighted to be part of taking the company to the next level."
"[Co-founder and CEO] Stephen Butler has put together an incredible team," said Martin Vetter, Senior Investment Manager, Accelerate/AVAC Ltd. "They've got the skills and the experience in disrupting markets."
The company's new capital will be used primarily to build out the Gummii curriculum and more parent-oriented features, both of which were "necessarily limited by the need to ship version 1.0" according to Butler.
The concept was born when Butler, a former Boston Consulting Group consultant and corporate venturing executive, become disillusioned with the leading math tutoring services and their online alternatives.
He co-founded the company in 2012 after meeting Dr. Brent Davis, a renowned educator who had just become the University of Calgary's first Distinguished Research Chair in Math Education, and Michael Sikorsky, a serial entrepreneur with his own mobile development firm, Robots & Pencils.
"I wanted to partner with these guys fifteen minutes into Stephen's pitch," said Sikorsky. "They're principled contrarians. Stephen is a born CEO. And Brent is Gummii's secret sauce."
The company raised $500,000 in seed capital to build and launch its first product into the App Store in August. Within days Gummii became the first math app for kids to crack the Top 25 overall in free U.S. iPad downloads, racking up 300,000 users within a month.
"What 1.0 showed is that kids will engage with a learning game without grown-up pressure-that's key for busy parents-if you make it a game they actually want to play," said Butler.
"It also proved you have to take the 'ed' part of 'edtech' seriously. You can't unlock the true learning potential of touchscreens by repurposing a paper or keyboard curriculum. You've got to design specifically for touch."
The company's story has resonated strongly with industry observers. Gummii was named Best IT Company at the 2013 Banff Venture Forum, Best Pitch at the 34th Vancouver Angel Forum, and Most Innovative/Too Important to Fail/Most Likely to IPO at Startup Calgary's Launch Party 2013.
Gummii 1.1 is expected to hit the iPad App Store later this month.
To learn more, visit http://gummii.com.
To experience Gummii, download on the iPad App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id669982848.
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