In recent years mobile apps such as Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga have become cult favorites, merging mobile apps into the entertainment sector. Developers from the London-based startup, Brainbow hope to do the same thing, only with educational apps. It seems they could be on their way with over 1 million people playing their app, 6 Numbers only 8 weeks after its launch for iOS reports Stuart Dredge of The Guardian.
The app is a puzzle game designed to help the user practice basic arithmetic and problem solving. Players aim to reach a given target total by adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing six numbers.
UK gamers are spending 22-31 minutes playing 6 Numbers on a typical given day, according to Brainbow. While currently the game's numbers don't compare to is non-education counter parts, Brainbow plans to surpass them one day.
The company's founding team has experience at Amazon, Google, Playfish, EA and the academic world, and is pitching itself as an "edugaming" startup that "turns knowledge into games". Brain-training, as Nintendo's Dr Kawashima character would call it.
"6 Numbers is becoming a phenomenon," says chief operating officer Sagi Shorrer. "We've had 1m downloads, and active users in the hundreds of thousands. And it's the number one puzzle game in many countries around the world."
Brainbow's first two games, 6 Numbers and Brainbow Count, were developed without any investors to prove the start-ups resilience and customer demand. Now the company's investors include the likes of Initial Capital, DN Capital, London Venture Partners and Lifeline Ventures with $1.2 million in funds raised.
The funding will primarily be used to build a full time team to turn out a bigger game due to release this summer, according to chief product officer Xavier Louis.
The company hopes to go beyond math and develop games in all areas of education, with the belief that "any knowledge can be turned into games".
Brainbow intends of keeping its apps free to play. They want the initial download to be free, and want the players to expect new puzzles as they go in the hopes consumers will play them for years to come.
Some features may eventually cost extra, but the exact details of what that will be has not be released. Currently players can make in-app purchases such as clues, to help them progress through the levels faster.
In the meantime, Brainbow is continuing to build its team, poaching former colleagues from larger companies to join their cause.
"These people have lived in big companies, but they see we have a mission. There's a purpose here: we turn knowledge into games," says Shorrer. "And that mission is combined with mobile, games, and data. They see the combination, and that we're doing fascinating things."