Kiwi Crate, a months-old, Mountain View, Calif.-based company that operates a subscription-based, kid-focused activities service (including home-delivered parent-kid “projects”), has raised $2 million in seed funding. First Round Capital led the round. Other investors include Mayfield Fund, Comcast Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Consigliere Brand Capital, UJ Ventures and 500 Startups.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Oct. 11, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — Kiwi Crate announced that it has raised seed financing of $2 million. The company, which launched today, operates a subscription-based service that produces and delivers hands-on activities for kids. The products are designed to inspire creativity and curiosity in children, as well as offer convenience for busy parents, by providing all the necessary materials, ideas and instructions for a variety of activities, delivered monthly.
The seed round was led by First Round Capital. Additional investors in the company include the Mayfield Fund, Comcast Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Consigliere Brand Capital, UJ Ventures and 500 Startups. Individual angel investors include Raymond Tonsing and Seth Goldstein (co-founder of Turntable.fm).
“Our vision is to become the creativity company for kids growing up in the digital age,” said Sandra Oh Lin, CEO and founder of Kiwi Crate. “With increased demands on parents’ time and decreased emphasis on the arts in schools, it’s more important than ever to ensure that kids have hands-on activities that are going to encourage their natural creativity and curiosity. At the same time, we recognize that kids are growing up in a digital world, and there are things we can do to leverage technology as well, in really interesting ways.”
The Craft & Hobby Association puts the size of the U.S. crafts industry at $29.2 billion, of which 20%-25% is estimated to be materials and projects for kids. “As an investor, I was attracted to the fact that Kiwi Crate is solving a real pain point for millions of busy but well-intentioned parents,” said Josh Kopelman, Managing Director of First Round Capital, who joined Kiwi Crate’s Board of Directors. “As a father myself, I immediately ‘got it’ when I first saw the concept. On top of that, we love the subscription-based business model and the possibilities for bridging the online/offline gap.”
“The team is awesome,” said Dave McClure of 500 Startups. Founder Sandra Oh Lin was GM of eBay Fashion and prior to that, launched PayPal Mobile and led product marketing for PayPal’s Merchant Services business. Co-founders include Yu Pan, a PayPal co-founder and early employee at You Tube, and Yael Pasternak Valek, an ex-Yahoo! product manager who was on the founding team at Maya’s Mom, later acquired by BabyCenter. “This is a rock-solid team with proven execution capabilities. My kids also give this investment their seal of approval, and they’re a tough crowd.”
Kiwi Crate subscriptions are available online at http://www.kiwicrate.com . Monthly subscriptions are $19.95 per month, or $220 for an annual subscription. Gift subscriptions for 3, 6 or 12 months are also available. Each crate is designed by a community of parents according to the company’s design principles, reviewed by an advisory team of experts, and tested by kids. For additional kids’ activity ideas, see the Kiwi Crate blog: http://blog.kiwicrate.com/ .
About Kiwi Crate
Founded in 2011, Kiwi Crate sparks creativity in kids and saves time for busy parents by providing all of the inspiration and materials necessary for hours of imaginative play. With monthly deliveries of activities designed to help kids discover, explore, and create things in the world around them, Kiwi Crate brings hands-on fun right to your door. To learn more, visit Kiwi Crate at kiwicrate.com.