Cubetto: Crowd funding the Internet of Toys
The Digital Catapult is passionate about nurturing digital skills for future generations, so we were really excited to hear that smart-toy maker Primo is launching a new Crowdcube campaign to help scale its Cubetto Playset: a wooden robot designed to help young children discover programming.
By placing coloured blocks in different sequences, children can control the direction and movement of the Cubetto robot, helping them develop childrens’ basic computational thinking and simple coding skills, all before they can read and write.
In an exclusive chat with the Digital Catapult, Co-founder and CEO Filippo Yacob said: “Learning to program is not an abstract skill, but a natural brain process. I wanted to create a toy that was accessible and friendly to children, which would also fill a gap in the market.”
The gap Filippo refers to allows Cubetto to be the first coding toy for pre-school children to work without the use of a digital or screen interface.
Primo has experienced lots of success with Cubetto so far, with units being sold to over 800 schools and nurseries in nearly 50 countries. “We conducted beta testing in various schools and the children, teachers and parents loved it,” says Filippo. “The kids quickly made strong attachments with the robot, while teachers found it easy to set up and understand, and parents wanted to get involved and use the toy as a way to bond with their child.”
Another aspect that Filippo claims has been key to its success is the fact that Cubetto is a non-language tool, thus removing any language and cultural barriers.
Cubetto has already caught attention from IBIS Capital and PCH International, (both of whom are now investors), and Primo are now planning to scale Cubetto further via Crowdcube. “Crowd funding was the natural place to go and help us grow,” said Filippo. “It’s a really open way of operating and helps us build the strong online community created from the early days of Primo.”
We also asked Filippo for his number one tip for anyone thinking of crowd funding. His answer? “Focus on what you do well; in Primo’s case we understand our demographic really well now, so we’re concentrating on refining our products for those children in the 3-6 years age bracket.”
“Having said that though, I’d love to support our target demographic as they grow up. It would be fantastic achievement if we could release a range of Primo coding toys catering for children of all ages.”
We’re really excited to witness Primo going from strength to strength, in order to transform the way programming is taught to early learners. Cubetto could be coming to a classroom, nursery or even your own home in the very near future!