MarcoPolo Learning, the digital early childhood education company, today launches an equity crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, in order to fund its rapid global expansion.

Born out of the need to provide world-class early learning to children aged 3-7, MarcoPolo Learning’s products makes learning fun, exciting and inspiring for young children by letting the world be their classroom. MarcoPolo Learning offers literacy and maths within a PhD-designed comprehensive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) curriculum. The company uses a unique mixed media approach for its content that marries real world video footage with animated characters and curriculum. So far, the company has had approximately 7 million downloads, and their apps have reached #1 in nearly 100 countries, winning numerous awards.

With approximately 90% of the brain forming by age 7 and a greater understanding of brain development in recent years, there is a heightened awareness around the need to provide children with experiences that develop healthy neural connections. However, the stark reality is that the majority of children around the world are not enrolled in early childhood education. As most children globally now have access to a mobile device, MarcoPolo Learning addresses this need, alongside PhD educators, by leveraging the interactivity of mobile devices to engage children in exploration-based and contextualised learning. With a market of 100s of millions of children aged 3-7, there is a enormous global appetite for high quality early learning content delivered efficiently through digital devices.

Last year, Unicef[1] estimated that 65% of children entering primary school today will work in jobs that don’t yet exist, due to the rapid development of technology. As a consequence, this creates a greater demand for social and analytical skills if they are to continue to contribute to the workplace. In order to prepare children for the workplace of the future, research[2] has found that STEAM learning is the best method. The inclusion of the arts into the traditional STEM curriculum makes learning more fun and approachable, and much less intimidating for the little ones.

MarcoPolo Learning recently launched World School, a subscription virtual early learning school, which will offer personalised learning paths to allow children to progress according to their own individual interests and abilities. Available on the Apple App Store (and soon Google Play Store), the service combines TV-grade short-form mixed media video lessons, allowing children to explore the farthest reaches of the real world, and engage with contextualised learning activities. Not only does the school teach a core STEAM curriculum, but it will also help to nurture important 21st century skills with life-long benefits, such as curiosity, creativity and problem-solving. In partnership with production and distribution partner Boat Rocker Media, MarcoPolo Learning will also launch a video series, The Polos, this summer, targeted at global TV and digital networks.

Backed by a number of influential investors from around the world, such as Boat Rocker Media, Horizon Ventures, and Seedcamp, MarcoPolo Learning has raised over $10 million to date. The company will be using proceeds from the Seedrs campaign to continue developing its educational products and continue its global expansion, helping to educate millions of young children across the globe.

Justin Hsu, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at MarcoPolo Learning, said: “Ongoing development in technology will have a lasting effect on the future of our children. Combining STEAM learning with the development of life skills such as creativity, flexible thinking and problem-solving will be crucial in preparing and educating the next generation. We built MarcoPolo to provide this whilst countering the onslaught of “junk-food media” by building world-class, educator designed learning products and a trusted brand for the next generation of children. We are excited to invite both our community and Seedrs investors to be a part of this journey and to contribute to advancements in education for children worldwide”.

Reshma Sohoni, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Seedcamp, commented: “We’ve been really impressed with the MarcoPolo Learning team since our initial investment and we see a real demand in the market for their product as evidenced by the strong take-up already. We are delighted to support MarcoPolo Learning and the vision the team has of bringing the best education to children across the globe.

Author: Yash Hirani

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