KiwiCrate, a startup that delivers monthly arts and crafts to parents’ doorsteps, has raised $2 million in seed financing.First Round Capital led the round. Other investors include the Mayfield Fund, Comcast Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Consigliere Brand Capital, UJ Ventures and 500 Startups.
Turntable.fm cofounder Seth Goldstein and Raymond Tonsing also invested.
We first wrote about the stealth startup in our July list of 20 Hot Silicon Valley Startups You Need To Watch.
KiwiCrate is yet another subscription ecommerce business, but this is one that we actually like.
Parents can subscribe to KiwiCrate for $19.95 per month, $59 for three months, $110 for six months, or $220 for the year. Every month, a new fun kid’s project, like “Stompy Dinosaur Feet” or “Dig into Fossils,” is sent with all of the materials and instructions to parents. It says exactly what the child will learn from the project, and how much parental guidance it will require to complete.
Cofounder Sandra Lin has two young children. She came up with the idea for KiwiCrate while planning activities for her kids and their friends.
“I am a mum and have a personal passion for hands on fun. But many mums have a hard time coming up with ideas for projects and gathing all of the materials,” she tells us.
“I started to do play dates and potluck parties to share my arts and crafts ideas with other parents. One of them pulled me aside and said, ‘You know, you are really good at this and you have passion for it.’ So I looked into turning it into a business.”
Sandra approached her former PayPal coworker Yu Pan about it. A friend connected her to a third cofounder, Yael Pasternak Valek. Soon, the three of them were plotting ways to send fun, educational projects for 3 to 6 year olds to the masses.
Lin tells us her children are “Chief Testing Officers.” They try nearly every project before it is sent to subscribers. Lin’s children also picked KiwiCrate’s logo.
Education professionals help KiwiCrate come up with monthly ideas too.
For now, parents can only order one box at a time, but Lin tells us KiwiCrate will visit the idea of bulk boxes. That way, babysitters with more than one child on their hands, or pre-school teachers with a classroom full of toddlers can preoccupy many children at once.
Lin tells us the $2 million will be used to increase the team of five employees and scale KiwiCrate.
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