Amazon’s Alexa Fund Investment Awarded to EdTech Startups Unruly Studios and Zoobean

Amazons Alexa Fund for Unruly Studios and Zoobean

Amazon’s Alexa Fund is a corporate venture fund by Amazon that is committed to funding innovations in voice technologies.

The main focus of the fund is to promote technologies that can be integrated with Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa. The fund provides up to $200 million in VC funding for the purpose.

Unruly Studios is an Alexa accelerator alumnus from 2018. It connects physical play with STEM learning for kids.

Zoobean has produced a reading software platform called Beanstalk. This software is used by over 1200 schools and public libraries.

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Zoobean helps teachers and librarians run reading activities and challenges and track the progress of learners. Its advanced data-driven insights and progress reward methods have earned it the name ‘Fitbit for reading’.

Zoobean is working on ways to integrate Alexa into Beanstalk software, so that readers can ask Alexa to set reminders or track their progress.

Zoobean received its initial funding from Mark Cuban, when it debuted in Shark Tank. With Alexa’s funding, the startup has also received re-investment from Cuban, with EAI Technologies, Jo and Elizabeth Tango, Pamela Bass-Bookey and Harry Bookey and Neil Jaffe of Booksource. (as per a report by Tech Crunch).

Unruly Studios’ team has created an edtech product called Unruly Splats. Splats are programmable floor tiles, which pair with an app, allowing kids to play various physical games like musical chairs, relay races, and whack-a-mole.

Unruly Studios is also working on ways to integrate Alexa with Splats, so that the process of learning STEM and programming fundamentals becomes more engaging for kids.

In its Seed funding round, Unruly Studios has raised a total of $1.8 million, which includes funding from Alexa Fund. The round was led by eCoast Angels. Other new and existing investors also participated in the round. Some of the names include AT&T, Techstars, LearnLaunch, and NextFab.

“Their (Unruly Studios) ability to combine STEM education with physical games is inspiring on its own, and we see voice as a way to make that experience even more fun and engaging. We can’t wait to see what they build in the future.”

Paul Bernard, Director of the Alexa Fund commented on Amazon’s investment, as per TechCrunch’s report.

With investment in Zoobean and Unruly Studios, Amazon has expanded its presence in the edtech market.

Last year it invested in Bamboo-learning, which is a voice-based software and services company. It also invested in Sphero (robotics), which has recently ventured in the education sector with Sphero Edu.

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