When children today want to learn about a new topic they are interested in, they often visit YouTube. But the quality of educational content on the platform can be hit or miss, depending on which specific video the children come across. TappityThe goal is to offer an alternative to digital educational startups with $ 1.3 million in seed funding now. Its video library provides entertaining and interactive live-action video for children to enjoy, while also ensuring that the content itself aligns with current educational standards.
The two-year-old startup was founded by CEO Chad Swenson, his brother and CTO Tanner Svenson and CPO Lawrence Tran.
As Chad explains, his interest in designing the Interactive Learning Experience led to the idea for Tapity, which resulted in a senior project eight years ago where he started a project to help students learn about development. Created interactive experience. In the years that followed, he began experimenting with various concepts in the field, but never planned for the scale of the venture.
However, Chad says he later realized that there might be an opportunity to develop the surrounding material Next generation science standard (NGSS) – a set of K-12 science content standards that was developed by a consortium of several US states – whose adoption across the US is now increasing.
“A lot of parents were looking for healthy alternatives to YouTube,” Chad says. “And I really started to believe that this is something that can be very big.”
They also found that science-based subjects are usually interested in children, often those that are aligned with the purpose of teaching NGSS – such as space, dinosaurs, geology and others.
“A big inspiration was just looking at the most popular books on Amazon for children,” Chad says, noting that a large number of these books focus on topics related to STEM.
When Chad met his co-founder Lawrence Tran for consulting Fintech startup bill.com, And persuaded him and his brother Tanner to work at the startup.
Over the course of a few years, Tappity has developed tools that make it easy and efficient to produce interactive, educational video content. Today, thousands of videos in the library contain over 200 science lessons for children aged 4 to 10 years.
While the video clips themselves are pre-recorded, they give the children a sense of one-on-one interaction with the character on screen. For example, if the teacher is building something and needs a screwdriver, children can send it to him in the app when he asks. But he’ll also have a lot of other fun options that he can do instead, such as passing his tape or even throwing pizza at him – and he’ll react. Teachers can also connect with children in other ways, such as what they draw in the app, among other things.
Currently, Topi’s teacher Heli the Science Gal (Haley McHog), A childhood recreation specialist with 10 years of experience, is leading lessons that span subjects such as space, life sciences, earth sciences, and physics.
In addition to video lessons, children are engaged with in-app point systems to carry out activities. The app also provides follow-up emails for parents to let them know what the children are learning and can further engage them.
For example, due to the COVID epidemic, and the resulting screen fatigue that comes from virtual schooling, Tappity adapted some lessons to include offline activities – such as drawing with paper and pen. And on Sundays, Tappity offers more engaging activities parents and children can do together – such as baking cookies that you turn into pangeas or create volcanoes.
Tapiti expects more than 1,000 hours of video content by the end of next year, and more than 4,000 hours of video by the following years.
When the team of three applied for the startup Accelerator Y Combinator, Tappity was small, but profitable, thanks to its in-app subscription tier which averages $ 9 per month. Today, the company has more than 5,000 paying customers and more than 20,000 weekly active users who collectively have completed 30 million lessons so far.
The company has now raised a $ 1.3 million seed round from Y Combinator, Mystics founded by Keith Shakht, Toca Boca founded by Bjorn Jeffery, The bright capital (Yun-Fung Xuan), Former Spotify CTO Andreas Ehen, And others.
In the near-term, Tappity is working to expand its team and bring its lessons – which are only available today Ios – For the web. Over time, the company aims to create a large library of interactive educational materials.
While the COVID epidemic Has inspired the Vice Chancellors to invest in more edit startupsThe longevity of some of these businesses can be seen in the COVID world. Where Tapety Inn is different from many designed for distance learning startups or the classroom, its focus is not on selling in the school system.
“Teachers have raised it organically – we just give it to schools for free,” Chad explains. “But we are not dedicating any resources to do this because we are focusing on the needs of parents and children, which are quite different,” he says.
Tappity’s app IOS available, And includes some free content outside of membership.