By: Chen Lev
CEO
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Storyball

Storyball developed the first of its kind portable gaming console that actively bridges between the physical and digital worlds and takes children off the screens. The technology is based on motion sensors, smart algorithms, original content and a designa

$ 150,500

Raised so far

13

Investors

0

Days to go
Type:Convertible  
Stage:Seed
Category:Education
•  Successfully funded    
  • Campaign Highlights
  • Pitch
  • Team
  • Investors 13
  • Updates 3

Campaign Highlights

The next big thing in the Toys World IoT Market

The world toys market is worth 90 billion USD with a growing segment of connected toys perceived to be future of toys and growing in the past 5 year. Increased awareness for the negative influences of screens on the physical and mental development of young kids, the projection is that connected toys market will grow to be 10 billion USD by 2020.
 

First sales of thousands of units

Storyball has already proved its attractiveness in the market by launching a succesful crowd funding campaign (Kickstarter) in which 2000 first Storyballs have been ordered directly by customers from US, UK, Australia and Canada and from other non-English speaking markets.

Technology encourages children to think

Storyball incorporates smart technology of motion sensors, advanced software and AI into an ordinary product that every child and adult love to play with for thousands of years - the ball. The device tells a story and the child is invited to take an active part in that story. Storyball reacts to what the kid is doing and takes kids away from staring at screens. Storyball encourages kids for motion and interaction.

Strategic partnership with world leading brands

Storyball acquired the exclusive license for two international leading kids brands with widespread and huge fans audience.   

Both brands regard the partnership as strategic and a direct channel to their fans.

Prestigious Acceleration programs and GESA 2017 Award

Storyball was nominated first prize in the International Global Educations Startup Award in London announced the most innovative product for 2017 among 2000 startup companies in the world. On top, Storyball was chosen to participate in two leading acceleration programs:
StartupBootcamp program in London specifically for IoT startups. The program is known to release few  success stories such as  MedEye, SendCloud, Relayr and more. 
MindCet - the CET acceleration program, the Israeli based organization leading in development of technology products for the Education organizations in Israel with success stories such as CodeMonkey and Webee.

Pitch

the idea

The Need

Kids spend an average of 6.5 hours in front of screens every day *! This phenomenon results in few negative effects such as social disconnection, development delay and obesity. One of the biggest challenges parents face in recent years is how to get children to put the screens aside and play away from them. In the world of tablets, smartphones, playstations and computer screens, the games we remember from our childhoods, dolls, balls and sports games, seem to unable to compete and become attractive alternatives to screens and applications. The "stupid" products do not upgrade and update, they are uninteractive, and kids cannot share the experience using them. Thus, a large proportion of the children of the world grow up when they are clinged to screens and do not physically move or use the full potential of their imagination. The percentage of obese children are constantly on the rise, and in the United States, each of five children is overweight (U.S. National Library of Medicine).

The seek for screen alternatives keep growing together with the growing awareness of screens harms and their critical influence on normal development of kids.

The Idea

By introducing smart sensor-based technology into a familiar physical product, Storyball bridges between the physical and digital worlds and create a new form of game detached from the screens that encourages children to be physically active and helps them develop important skills such as coordination, precision, musical hearing and problem solving. The children play a smart game that “learns” them, develops and improves according to their needs and provides them with a positive, educational and personal experience. The "Internet of Things" (the IoT revolution) realized at Storyball is a global trend that has changed the way we experience and use products in different areas in our lives. The combination of technology in the world of games and toys is a major breakthrough in the traditional and classic toy world.

 Storyball consists of:

  • Ball shaped interactive game console
  • Differents skins wrapped around the ball (“Skins”)
  •  Designated application

The different characters allow variety and each skin is actually a completely different character with a separate "personality", different voice and a separate play world. Storyball talks to the children using the built-in speaker and urges them into active roll and movements they need to perform in order to make progress in the story. Storyball can identify whether actions were performed and in which way and reacts accordingly. The stories and actions required vary according to the different characters, the level of difficulty increases and more abilities open up as the user plays more.
 

Technology

Storyball's technology is divided into four parts:

• The game console - a motion sensor base unit and a unique algorithm developed by one of the company's founders; an algorithm expert with experience in programming sensors for unmanned aircraft. A design patent was submitted for the console design.


Skin – Skin is the replaceable character attached on the ball and brings with it the personality, form of play and content. Each character contains a vast IP that is expressed in unique content, voice and sounds. 
A patent was submitted in 2016 in Israel for the connection between the skin and the console, followed by a PCT submission in the US by Luzzatto & Luzzatto, in advanced stages of approval.

• Application - The application determines the course of the game, the conduct of the console and the data collected. The application is a unique IP of the company and allow users to learn the game while using AI and its implementation in the game.

 

How does it work?

Content - The integrated content in Storyball is original content written and owned by the company. Content is implemented to the console using dedicated editing software developed by the company that will in next stages be open for other users to write content to the ball. The goal is to enable the writing of basic content for children, as well as advanced editing for professional content writers and professionals (teachers, therapists, etc.).

 

Business model

Storyball’s business model is based on:

  •  Direct sales to customers (B2C)
  •  Distribution to retail stores (B2B2C)
  •  Sales to businesses such as: schools/clinics/retirement homes (B2B)

The products are:

  • Physical products: console, skins, accessories (one time purchase, in stores or online).
  • Content: Additional content for the application; educational content, additional stages, training content, rehabilitation content (online purchase).
  • Software: Training and follow-up systems: intended for schools, clinics and other institutions (purchase based on monthly subscription, establishment fee + fixed monthly cost).

The distribution of Storyball:

B2C - Selling directly to customers using online platforms (Kickstarter, Storyball’s website, Amazon, SHOPIFY, etc.).
B2C - Direct content sales to customers - through the application - additional content, dedicated content.
B2B - Selling products to leading retailers (APPLE STORES, BEST BUY, TARGET, etc.).
B2B - selling content to institutions - designing training programs + tracking - schools, clinics, elderly homes, etc.

the market

IoT in the Smart Toys Market

Since the IoT revolution, the smart toy market has been on the rise and is expected to reach $ 10 billion by 2020 (out of a total of $ 90 billion a year for the total toys market). The ability to introduce smart technology and interactivity into products that until now have been completely static has opened up a new category in the traditional toy market, Connected Toys, and is considered the promise of the toy market. 

 

Increased investment in companies developing technology for children

The growing interest in smart children's products can be seen clearly by the amount of investments made in companies developing technologies for children. The investment of venture capital funds in smart toys is on the rise, with total investments in recent years summing up to over $ 300 million. 
 

Start-up companies in the smart toys world have raised hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years and have succeeded in breaking into a market that until a few years ago was dominated by the giant toy companies. 

It can be seen that alongside the increase in investments, there is also an increase in demand from consumers indicating that they are willing to pay more for smart products that will enable their children to play smart.

Storyball is intended to expand to more markets :

  • Medical
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical training  

 

Competitors

The smart toys market is growing and we are facing a trend of traditional companies alongside innovative start-ups that introduce new products, combining and implementing technology with various classic toys.

Most of the smart toys on the market today are screen-dependant and instead of keeping children away from screens, the opposite is happening. The product and the screen are inseparable and that forces children to spend more time in front of the screens in order play and enjoy the product. Examples of such products are robots that can be moved and programmed by phone, a tablet that is played with physical elements, etc. Storyball has a definite advantage at this point. The unique development form of Storyball is completely detached from the screen and once the children have chosen the game they want to play they have to put the screen aside and play independently with the ball.

Another significant advantage is that Storyball is not a fixed limited game, but rather a content platform. The game changes by replacing a character (skin) and updating software, downloading new content and games, thus enabling a much longer period of time playing than other products at the same price level.


Competition map:

Sphero – 
Sphero was founded in 2010 and developed a new type of remote control car - the car in ball shaped and the remote control is the mobile phone. The children hold the mobile phone and control the ball while the screen shows elements using Augmented Reality. Sphero has raised over $ 100 million and received Disney license to launch the BB8 star war character - a product that sold more than 300,000 units in less than four days. Today, the company has a number of smart products all with a Disney license. Unlike the Sphero flagship product, Storyball provides a game experience that is detached from the screen and motivates children to be active.

Smart Toy – 
A company founded in 2012 in the name of Ubooly that developed a plush doll that you put a smart device inside. The company raised $ 30,000 in a Kickstarter campaign, raised $ 300,000 from investors, sent the product to the first consumers and raised an additional $ 2.5 million at the end of 2012. In 2012, the company was acquired by another toys company, Cartwheel Kids and in 2015 developed a non-smart device plush doll, in cooperation with FISHER PRICE, one of the largest and oldest toy companies in the world.
Unlike SMART TOY, Storyball is not limited to one character but allows the exchange of characters. In addition, the dynamic platform and software of the ball allow free, unlimited play and identifies a much larger range of movements.

Play Impossible – 
A company established in early 2016 that developed a smart ball for sports activities for children ages 5-15. The ball can detect different movements and actions and gives an indication of what is being done on the screen. The company has raised $ 2.7 million to date in two separate rounds and sells ball both online and in retail stores.
The main difference between the products is the concept of the game, PLAY IMPOSSIBLE is mainly in the world of sports and games (ages 5-15) and because it does not have a speaker, its use is mainly measuring data such as how long the ball was in the air, how many shots were made on the screen. Storyball urges children (4-10) into an active game guided through the built-in speaker, with different contents for the different characters.


Timeline


 

 

Storyball in the international and Israeli media


Go To Market

The company's Kickstarter campaign provided the company a wide understanding and tools about the market: the target audience, territories, prices and marketing messages. 

The Go-To-Market stages plan:

  • The market penetration process began with the successful Kickstarter campaign and the creation of a community of first users and backers (1300 purchased in 45 days). Sales continued at the end of the campaign. These days the company is making the necessary arrangements to deliver the products to those first customers.
  • At the next stage the company will start marketing the product through the leading online platforms (Amazon, Facebook. e-Bay and Storyball’s website).
  • The third stage will be to start distributing the product to leading retail stores. 

the exit strategy

The attractiveness and appeal of Storyball in the eyes of giant toys companies originates from the technological innovation, the original content, the IP, the licensing agreements with familiar brands, the mobile application, the software, the interactive stories.

The company expects to be acquired by a large toy company. Examples for potential acquirers are Mattel, Spin Master, Hasbro or a content/media/communication/gaming companies that correspond to Storyball. 

In 2016, for example, TOCA BOCA was acquired by Spin Master. Established in 2011, for more than $ 30 million. In 2017, the Perplexus toy company was acquired for $ 9 million.

Use of proceeds

The funds raised will be used by the company for a period of 6 months. The funds will be directed for:

  • Marketing activities
  • Manufacturing of additional Storyballs 
  • Upgrade of the Storyball platform

 

Team

Chen Lev
CEO
Biography
After completing his master‘s degree in law and internship in the Central District Attorney‘s Office, Chen realized that his passion is elsewhere. The entrepreneurship has always been in his blood, and at the age of 15 Chen set up his first business in the field of Magic, which he developed into a successful and profitable business. The children‘s world and entrepreneurship naturally combined and together with two childhood friends, Meir Biton and Yuval Lombrozo developed an innovative platform, Storyball. Chen served in the IDF in an Elite Unit as a combat soldier, deputy commander of a team and a combat instructor. 34 years old. Married to Neama and father to Tomer and Amit. Co-Founder.

  • Founder
Yuval Lombrozo
CTO
Biography
Yuval is a Mechanical Engineer (Technion, com laude) with significant experience in the field of multidisciplinary development. In the past, he conducted projects in robotics and automation, and developed algorithms for control and guidance systems for airborne systems. Yuval is the technological leader of Storyball and is responsible for synchronizing all product development disciplines: software, hardware, mechanics, connectivity and more. Yuval served in the IDF as a combat soldier in one of the Navy’s elite units. 34 years old Married to Hamutal, father to Hagar and Adam Co-Founder.

  • Founder
Meir Biton
CPO
Biography
Meir is a designer, a graduate of Bezalel Academy of Visual Communication. Editor for Video and UX/UI designer. Meir is the creativity and inspiration leader of Storyball, already drawing and shaping the vision of the next generation. Meir served In the IDF as an officer and commander. 34 years old. Co-Founder.

  • Founder
Adi Maimon Geffen
COO
Biography
Adi has over 20 years of experience in the field of product development and marketing consumer products. She managed the product development at Tinylove, a leading brand in the field of developmental toys for babies. Adi‘s extensive experience in a variety of industries helps Storyball build the company‘s infrastructure correctly and prepare for scaling and expansion into markets. 46 years old. Married to Tal and mother Yuval, Yael and Noa. Partner and employee at the company.

Giora Vered
Software Development
Biography
Giora joined the team in early stages and is responsible for developing the device software and mobile application.Giora brings with him experience in software development in various programming languages, leading the software field in the company. He previously worked for Mellanox and Matific. 33 years old. Married to Roni and father to Yuval. Senior Partner and Software Manager.

Yuval Eshel
Product Manager
Biography
Yuval has joined the company recently and already contributes with his rich experience in the field of game design. He holds a BA in industrial design and has a wide range of experience in different design fields ranging from exhibitions, furniture, lighting and more. In the past, Yuval had been a partner in a Gaming start-up and managed the UX/UI. 46 years old. Married to Tami and father to three daughters. Employee.

Investors 13

Anonymous Investor
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Anonymous Investor
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Anonymous Investor
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Anonymous Investor
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16
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Anonymous Investor
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Anonymous Investor
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Anonymous Investor
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16
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Anonymous Investor
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16
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Anonymous Investor
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16
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Anonymous Investor
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Anonymous Investor
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Anonymous Investor
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Anonymous Investor
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Updates 3

  • Update date: 11/12/2018
  • Update date: 10/12/2018

    Storyball is proud to be honorably mentioned in The 2019 KAPI Awards for innovation in Children media by CES, The largest annual technology conference for the consumer electronics industry. The Awards celebrates excellence in children’s media and digital toys.

  • Update date: 10/12/2018

    Storyball recently announced as the winner of the PitchEd competition, Livepitch in front of an audience of Education, Media & publishing executives at the EdTech Conference, supported by Ed-Tech Exchange & BESA. Cash Prize money & PR.

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