MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA, – Tynker, the leading creative computing platform to empower young people to learn how to code, today announced that it raised $7.1 million in a Series A led by a prominent syndicate of edtech entrepreneurs and leading Silicon Valley VC firms. Lead investors include Krishna Bharat, Google scientist behind Google News, Cervin Ventures, Felicis Ventures, New Ground Ventures, Reach Capital, and Relay Ventures.
“We are honored to have so many great technologists and VC firms join the Tynker family,” said Krishna Vedati, Co-founder and CEO of Tynker. “It’s a true privilege to have their experience, wisdom and passion for building great businesses alongside our team as we bring Tynker to a whole new generation of makers and computer scientists.”
The new funding will enable Tynker to continue its mission to empower kids to be makers by transforming early computer science (CS) education in homes, classrooms, learning centers, and technology camps. The company will use the investment for product development and further expansion into schools and districts outside of the US and Canada.
Tynker is part of the national effort to teach high tech skills and fill open technology jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that by 2020, roughly 1 million coding jobs will go unfilled. And a new Gallup study commissioned by Google, called Searching for Computer Science: Access and Barriers in U.S. K-12 Education, showed that 90% of parents see CS as "a good use of school resources" and 67% say it should be required learning alongside other core classes.
Already used by over 30 million kids, the award-winning Tynker platform, which has connected with 50,000 schools, is the best system for coding and game-based learning to help kids become makers. Tynker’s intuitive visual programming language enables kids to build web and mobile apps, design RPG and platformer games, control robots, program drones, and even modify Minecraft worlds.
"Tynker represents a super promising approach to getting kids to code, and one of the most appealing K-12 programming platforms I have ever seen," said Krishna Bharat who is also a Tynker board member. "I find parents, teachers, kids, and iconic brands are attracted to Tynker because it is engaging, intuitive and transformational."
Since 2014, with the introduction of Tynker’s tablet app, kids have been able to conveniently use Tynker on the go, on vacation, or in "airplane mode." Tynker also collaborated with Mattel to introduce engaging content based on the iconic Hot Wheels® and Monster High® brands. Through integrations with Philips, Sphero and Parrot products, Tynker enables kids to control robots, fly drones and program lighting systems – opening a whole new world of connected devices to young makers. Recently, the company introduced the ability for kids to mod Minecraft using the Tynker visual programming language.
Leading school districts across the US and Canada have implemented Tynker in all levels to introduce computing starting in first grade. Organizations such as Code.org offer Tynker’s free tutorials to introduce millions of students to coding during the Hour of CodeTM. Tynker has partnered with Sylvan Learning, the leading North American provider of personal learning, and IDTech, the leader in summer technology camps, to bring instructor-led coding classes to over 800 locations across the country. And thanks to a generous grant from Infosys Foundation USA, Tynker is offering premium programming courses to 1,000 classrooms in high-needs schools across the country, at no cost.
“By making coding fun for kids, Tynker is powering the next generation of world-changing technologies,” said Aydin Senkut, Founder and Managing Director of Felicis Ventures. “We’re proud to support the 32 million future makers learning on the platform.”
Other notable investors who participated in the Series A include GSV Capital; NEA; Matt Cutts, Former Head of Google Spam; Ben Gomes, VP of Search at Google;John Katzman, Founder of Noodle Companies;Deborah Quazzo, Managing Partner at GSV Advisors; and Richard Sarnoff, Managing Director of KKR.
Tynker’s award-winning creative computing platform helps children develop computational thinking and programming skills in a fun, intuitive and imaginative way. Tynker is used by more than 50,000 schools and 32 million students, spanning over 200 countries. Tynker was founded by a seasoned team of technology entrepreneurs who share the passion for giving children the critical life skills needed to become leaders in the technologies of tomorrow. For more information, please visit: www.tynker.com, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @GoTynker.