Remember when kids could simply play with their toys? They still can. But parents are increasingly spending on toys that are chockablock with tech components, and that promise to turn their kids into software developers or robotics engineers. The Toy Industry Association, which held its International Toy Fair in New York last month, has even identified robotics-education as a major trend for the market in 2017.
Now, a Shenzhen-based startup called Makeblock has raised $30 million in Series B venture funding to serve all those parents with programmable robots, and robot-building kits for kids and teens. Makeblock claims it has customers in 140 countries and products being used by educators in 20,000 different schools worldwide today.