Venture Capital News: Zoobean Closes Seed Funding
WASHINGTON, DC, Site that makes it easy to find remarkable children's books that have been recommended and curated by parents, announces $500,000 in seed investment led by Kapor Capital.
Zoobean, the site that makes it easy to find remarkable children's books that have been recommended and curated by parents, announces $500,000 in seed investment led by Kapor Capital. Private investors also participated in the round. Launching in public beta the same week as National Children's Book Week, Zoobean offers a subscription service and direct sales of its well-loved books. Books on Zoobean are cataloged by recommended age, relevant topics, characters' backgrounds, and other tags that matter to families.
Zoobean was born when husband and wife Co-founders Felix Brandon Lloyd and Jordan Lloyd Bookey were expecting their second child. They went in search of a great children's book to explain to their 3-year-old son what it would mean to be a big brother. This task turned out to be much more challenging than they expected.
"At the time, we could not easily find books that told stories about new experiences and featured a brother and sister and a multiracial family. In stores, books were organized by genre, author, or very broad themes that weren't really relevant for us," said Chief Mom Jordan Lloyd Bookey. "We also searched many popular shopping websites, but the information was overwhelming and impersonal. In the end, we were frustrated and empty-handed. The same frustration might have resulted looking for books about bullying and teasing, the death of a pet, or finding e-books featuring Latino characters. Parents and educators rely on remarkable books to help connect children to their worlds and we decided to create Zoobean to address a need that benefits families and helps children imagine and achieve anything."
Lloyd and Bookey are both former teachers and bring their domain expertise to the venture. Lloyd is a former Washington, D.C. Teacher of the Year for 2000/2001 and most recently built and sold Skill-Life, a financial literacy platform, which is now MoneyIsland. Bookey is the outgoing head of Google's K-12 Education Outreach. She is also a former teacher and director with a DC-based non-profit supporting improved literacy in low-income neighborhoods.
"We see the opportunity for Zoobean to add unique value to the $3.1 billion dollar children's book market and an over $25 billion dollar market for children's books, games and other educational products," said Mitch Kapor, partner at Kapor Capital. "We were impressed by Felix and Jordan's vision to not only make it easier for parents and families to buy and recommend the most remarkable books, but to also see the future of parents curating goods for other parents."
Kapor Capital Partner, Freada Kapor Klein added, "Zoobean's focus on social impact aligns well with our investment strategy. Their product is refreshingly inclusive, catering to children and families of all backgrounds. We look forward to their continued growth and innovation."
Zoobean's catalogue of remarkable books has been built to-date by a trusted, nationwide team of a dozen curators that are parents, educators and librarians. Zoobean has been in private beta since April. It's funding will be used for strategic marketing initiatives and early product iteration. A portion of Zoobean's Love Collection sales will benefit a youth literacy nonprofit each month. The benefactor at launch is Reach Incorporated, which develops grade-level readers by training teens to teach.
Zoobean makes it easy to find remarkable children's books that have been recommended and curated by parents. Books on Zoobean are catalogued by recommended age, relevant topics, characters' backgrounds, and other tags that matter to families. The company offers a subscription service, direct sales of featured books, and affiliate sales of books in its catalog. For more information, visit: http://www.zoobean.com
About Kapor Capital
Kapor Capital is an investment fund based in Oakland, CA that invests in seed stage information technology companies which aspire to generate economic value and positive social impact. Investment sectors include but are not limited to education, health and consumer finance. For more information, visit: http://www.kaporcapital.com
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