Erase All Kittens secures $1M Seed investment led by Twinkl Educational Publishing
Erase All Kittens have created a Mario-style web-based game designed to equip young children with professional digital skills, and inspire girls to code.
After reaching 160,000 players in over 100 countries, the company has raised a $1M round led by Twinkl Educational Publishing, with participation from first investor Christian Reyntjens of A Black Square family office and angel investors, including one of the founders of Shazam.
EAK’s research shows that 55% of its players are girls, and 95% want to learn more about coding after playing. The existing game is currently free and is being used in over 3,000 schools, with traction having increased by 500% since March 2020.
The female-founded team believe that code education tools for children naturally appeal more to boys because the vast majority have been built by men – with many teaching coding in a similar and instructional way. They carried out two years of R&D resulting in a game which teaches girls and boys as young as 8 transferable digital skills, allowing them to create on the web.
“We’re designing a coding game that girls genuinely love – one that places a huge emphasis on creativity”, said Dee Saigal, co-founder, CEO and Creative Director. “Girls can see instant results as they code, there are different ways to progress through the game, and learning is seamlessly blended with storytelling.”
Saigal said “When I was younger I wanted to be a games designer. I loved coming up with ideas for games but coding had always seemed like an impossible task. We weren’t taught coding at school, and I couldn’t see anyone who looked like me making games, so I didn’t think it was something I could do. Our aim is to give girls confidence in their own abilities from an early age, and to prepare them for 21st Century degrees and careers”.
Erase All Kittens says it is addressing the global skills gap, where the gender gap is increasingly widening. In the UK, 24% of the tech workforce is female, women make up just 12% of all engineers, and only 3% of female students in the UK list tech as their first career choice (PWC).
Research by Childwise found that 90% of girls give up on coding after first trying it, and if girls are not interested in STEM by the age of 11, they are unlikely to ever be interested. This is a huge and growing problem for the tech industry and investors.
Jonathan Seaton, co-founder and CEO at Twinkl and Director of TwinklHive, said:
“We’re really excited to partner with Erase All Kittens, as a digital company Twinkl recognizes the importance of preparing children to succeed in the digital age and we believe through this partnership we can really make a difference.”
“The team is particularly excited about helping further Erase All Kitten’s mission to empower girls and give them the same opportunities to learn to code and build their own digital creations”.