Kabongo Takes School-Based Learning Games to the Consumer, Focuses on Being Both Fun and Effective

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different virtual islands, each with a different game focusing on a specific learning skill, from comprehension to phonics to attention and focus. Kids can also earn rewards that can be converted into virtual stickers, which they can add to their own Web-based comic books—what Anderson describes as the modern-day equivalent of color forms or flannel graphs.

“It’s reinforcing the learning; kids are creating their own comic books and it’s part of the literacy process,” he says.

Kabongo, which raised a $2.3 million Series A round earlier this year from DFJ Mercury and RPM Ventures, is planning to introduce an online, consumer-facing game for the older age group sometime next year. GoGo Kabongo, meanwhile, operates on the “freemium” model, with the initial game and virtual habitat costing nothing, and each additional habitat’s game functioning as an individual app that costs $6.95, Anderson says.

Speaking of apps (and keeping kids occupied so parents can take a break), Anderson says the company is working on taking its products to the smartphones, which have become what he calls “passback devices” that parents hand off to kids to keep them occupied in places like the car. He also sees a future for Kabongo in taking its games to mediums like books and board games.

“The launch is the first step in both extending the kids’ online experience, as well as his or her offline experience,” Anderson says.

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