Austin, Texas - August 22, 2023 - Kinjo, an edtech startup focused on improving the value of kids’ screen time, is uncovering and amplifying learning opportunities in their favorite platforms, from Roblox to YouTube and beyond. Today Kinjo is announcing a $6.5M seed round led by LiveOak Venture Partners, Silverton Partners, Breyer Capital, Roble Ventures, and others to further scale access and expand monetization.
Kinjo was co-founded by 25-year edtech veterans Charles Thornburgh, CEO, and Laura Malcolm, Head of Product, who have had success creating category defining companies in K-12 and higher education. The company has launched a product available in the Apple app store, which is already being used by over twenty thousand kids to earn rewards for choosing screen time with more learning value. Kinjo is testing a parent offering that brings parents into the loop by showing them the skills their kids are building. Next, Kinjo plans to expand to other gaming and media platforms.
“As a career education entrepreneur and parent, I know firsthand how hard it is to build educational products that can compete with the games and videos that hold our kids’ attention,” explains Thornburgh. “At Kinjo, we flipped that model. Instead of trying to drag them away from the platforms they love, we are meeting kids where they are and rewarding them for building skills in the games and media that have already captured their imaginations. Starting with Roblox was an easy choice because of its incredible traction with young learners and the remarkable diversity of experiences it offers, but we have our sights set on each of the digital platforms our children find most compelling.”
Kinjo is a culmination of years of ideation and experimentation on positive, motivating ways to help children build the capabilities they’ll need to navigate an increasingly complex future. “As an investor I have come across so many educational products spurned by kids they failed to engage, and as a parent I have seen kids immerse themselves in games that are far from enriching,” says board member Krishna Srinivasan, Founding Partner at LiveOak Venture Partners. “Charles and Laura have parlayed their successful background in building scaled education businesses into progress toward education’s holy grail: a model that delivers baked-in engagement, scalability, and efficacy, which is thrilling to me as an investor and a parent.”
“As a former teacher, I see the importance of agency and choice for kids, who have so little control over their own lives and how they spend their time,” relates Malcolm. “By creating products that are truly child-centered, Kinjo is channeling natural passion and joy to unlock potential and empower children to love – and succeed at – learning.”
Kinjo’s first app, which turns Roblox into a learning platform for families, has already inspired thousands of children to spend 3X more of their Roblox time on games curated by education experts to offer high cognitive challenge. Next up, Kinjo is setting its sights on bringing more joyful learning to the time kids are already investing in Youtube, Minecraft, and other popular online platforms.
Kinjo is reimagining the way we approach education and screen time, harnessing the power of kid-favorite platforms and resources to help them learn and grow. Founded by accomplished ed tech founders Charles Thornburgh and Laura Malcolm, the startup is building a new decision architecture for kids that inspires them to choose more constructive experiences when “left to their own devices.” Kinjo has already launched a Roblox-focused app for kids available in the App Store that has steered tens of thousands of children to joyfully solve hard problems, with a companion app for parents and families in development. The startup has raised $6.5M in seed funding.
Learn more at kinjo.com