99math, a Tallinn-based edtech startup that offers eSports-style online math competitions, has raised $500,000 in a funding round to help accelerate its growth.
The pre-seed round was led by Baltic VC Change Ventures and joined by Good Deed Education Fund and Martin Villig, co-founder of the Estonian unicorn company Bolt.
Co-founded by a 19-year-old Estonian recent high school graduate and gaming lover Timo Timmi, 99math was created to help teachers make their lessons more fun and motivate students to learn math. The startup provides a platform which runs an eSports-style online competition for math, called Math Game Day, to get students excited about the subject. The platform already had 30,000 students from around the world participate in its eSports-style math league.
99math’s Math Game Day allows anyone to participate and face-off in real-time math battles with live viewers. Anyone from anywhere around the world can join, all that’s needed to participate is a smartphone or tablet and a WiFi connection.
Explaining on why the startup, Timo Timmi, Co-founder of 99math, said,
“Math is one of the most important skills we can learn in school, but grades in math are declining around the world. I believe it is because of the way it is being taught in schools just doesn’t feel fun or engaging to generation Z. If math were as engaging as gaming, the next generation would far exceed the previous with powerful problem-solving skills. In turn, we would hopefully have more engineers, scientists, and astronauts.”
99math’s learning platform is free to use for both kids and teachers. It is now paving the way for schools to engage their first to sixth grade students in the subject of math more effectively. The platform allows teachers to create fun math games for their class. Teachers just need to select the topic; 99math generates the tasks for them. They can watch students play with excitement. The competition, leaderboards and visualizations make learning fun. Teachers can also see results and progress of the student, and get instant feedback to understand what needs focus.
Commenting on the investment, Yrjö Ojasaar, Investment Partner at Change Ventures, said,
“99math has shown that their online math competitions between schools, students and leagues engage tens of thousands of students across the world to practice math. We want to help this team grow 99math and revolutionize how kids perceive and practice math.”
Lauding the startup, Bolt’s co-founder Martin Villig also commented saying, “Estonian school students are currently first in the world in terms of math understanding and results. I think the way it is taught is imperative to the results. It feels great to see so many students already join the platform and get excited about math.”