littleBits, a New York startup that makes smart, Lego-like electronic toys, has raised a $3.65 million Series A round of financing.The round was led by True Ventures; Khosla Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Lerer Ventures also participated. Last year, littleBits raised a seed round from Joi Ito, Nicholas Negroponte, Joanne Wilson, Taha Mikati, Fadi Ghandour, Josh Spear, Jason Port and Salah Chamma.
littleBits look like Legos but they’re much more than building blocks.
Founded by Ayah Bdeir, littleBits are electronics in their simplest forms. Each block has a unique function. Some are lights, others are switches, motors, buttons or sounds. They have magnetic ends and when two blocks are stuck together, they complete a circuit. For example, if you stick together a light block and a switch block, you can create a night light. It you connect a light block and a sound block, you can create a flashing siren.
“I wanted to help people use electronics in a creative way,” Bdeir tells us. “They shouldn’t be ugly. littleBits shows people how to use electronics to make designs, art, and learn about technology.”
Last year, littleBits set out to prove its concept. “I had a hunch it was going to be something people would like, but you never know until you release it into the marketplace,” Bdeir tells us.
She was right. On December 19, Bdier announced that littleBits could now be purchased on her website. Within two weeks she sold 2,000 products.
Since then, Bdeir has received interest from major toy companies, but she hasn’t had the capacity to produce the amounts of littleBits they’d require. That’s where the latest round of financing comes in.
Now littleBits has secured a partnership with supply chain provider PCH which will help will deliver it to the masses. The littleBits team of eight works out of New York City.
Here’s a video that shows littleBits in action: