Seamless Toy Introduces Atoms, the Latest Robotic Toy from Colorado
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from its IPO. Actually, the shares belonged to the fund.
Rosenblatt knew about the connection to Bono, but he didn’t expect it to matter. Then when his team met with Elevation Partners, he heard an unexpected but familiar voice.
“Bono called in on the speakerphone,” Rosenblatt said. “It was one of the more surprising things since we got started. I was a little surreal.”
While Bono steals the headlines, Tevanian and Anderson’s involvement likely is a more important endorsement in the tech world. The trio made personal investments in Seamless Toy’s seed round, Rosenblatt said. Elevation itself is a late-stage venture capital investor.
Early stage VC investors Promus Ventures, Founders Collective, and Proof Ventures also were in the round, along with other angel investors.
Seamless Toys is not the first Boulder-based company to get into the toy robot market.
Earlier in November, Modular Robotics launched a Kickstarter campaign for its newest line of toys, called MOSS. Like Atoms, MOSS comes in both kits and as individual components. MOSS is Modular Robotics’ second product line, and like Atoms, its market is children who would enjoy playing with robotic toys but who aren’t necessarily young gadget geeks.
Modular Robotics has raised $3 million from investors, with Boulder-based VC firm the Foundry Group acting as lead investor. The Kickstarter campaign has raised about $270,000 with 15 days to go, easily clearing its $100,000 goal.
Then there’s the relative granddaddy of toy robots, Sphero. Orbotix, a Techstars 2010 graduate, makes the smartphone-controlled robot ball. Sphero has received raves from tech blogs like TechCrunch, and Orbotix has raised $15 million from VCs. Foundry Group also is an investor.
Rosenblatt said he appreciates the advanced engineering behind both products, likening them to Lamborghinis, but said his vision is fundamentally different. He’s the type of person more impressed with a fun mass-market product like the Mini Cooper than an unobtainable Italian supercar.
That might be why Seamless Toy embraces the word “toy” more than the other companies, while the word “robot” is surprisingly hard to find on the Atoms website. It’s a different way of looking at how kids play and interact with technology, Rosenblatt said, and he wants Atoms to be a product kids can use to enhance existing toys or as the building blocks to unleash their creativity.
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