Estonian EdTech startup 99math has recently raised $2.1 million in new funding round to boost its math gaming platform and expand its reach to the US and other markets.
The round was led by Play Ventures and participated by existing investors Flyer One Ventures and Change Ventures.
99math is a free tool for teachers and schools to engage students and it works as a platform for game-based math practice. It has a multiplayer math game that teachers use in classrooms around the world. Math problems are generated based on a teacher’s choice. Starting 99math’s game takes less than a minute, and the entire classroom can play at once. Both teachers and parents can track the progress that kids make over time.
After debuting as a beta tool in 2019, 99math grew into a gaming platform for one million kids, who together have solved over 600 million math problems, three million per day. 99math focuses on second grade through eighth grade.
Speaking about the platform, Tonis Kusmin, Co-founder & CEO of 99math, said,
"We have an extremely excited fan base, but we are still small in the United States. We have a tiny fraction of the 40 million kids. So we are taking the product to more users. And we are improving the classroom experience. We’re already quite good there. And the third mission is building out the full home game."
"We have also significantly upgraded our team. The game design thinking is totally a new level. And this is all getting started," Kusmin told GamesBeat.
One of the tricks to getting children into math is to get them to compete with each other in the classroom. 99math’s game tries to celebrate success and reward the player for progress to motivate the kids to keep at it.
Harri Manninen, Founding Partner at Play Ventures, said in a statement,
"We are very impressed with the 99Math team and how they’ve created a platform that encourages learning by playing. They have managed not only to make studying mathematics interesting but also to increase the level of involvement of students and their performance! We are supporting the 99math team as they continue to introduce motivational game design into education."
99math said it will use the fresh capital to expand its reach and improve its current product. According to Kusmin, the team is improving the classroom multiplayer product a lot and is also making regular modifications for the home product. He said the company will be adding social features and new game design, allowing children to train specific math skills like a mobile/video game as well as to support the spirit of competition between friends in the app and the desire to win through solving math problems.
Vital Laptenok, General Partner at FlyerOne, also said in a statement,
"There are 40 million students learning math in the US and around one billion worldwide. The market is huge and definitely needs a tool to keep up with the times and engage students. We are glad to support 99math in their quest to improve the gamified platform and make the learning process more efficient and interesting."
99math lets teachers use the platform for free, but it hopes to make money from parents through a premium subscription model. The company currently has 10 people who spread across Estonia, the rest of Europe, and the US. 99math last raised $1 million in August last year from Genesis Investments, Change Ventures, and five angels from well-known unicorns, including Bolt, Transferwise, and Pipedrive.