Begin, the company behind the early learning programme Homer has closed a $50 million Series C funding round.

Investors include Lego Ventures, Sesame Workshop, the principal investor in Gymboree Play & Music, 3One4 Capital, Trustbridge Partners and Interlock Partners. Liquidity Capital also contributed an additional $25 million in trajectory-based funding for growth.

New York-based Begin said it will use the funding to launch the industry’s first comprehensive early learning programme across digital, physical, and in-person experiences; co-develop curriculum alongside partners such as Sesame Workshop; and launch globally through distribution partners such as Gymboree Play & Music.

Begin co-founder and chief executive Neal Shenoy said: “Homer is partnering with the largest, most recognised brands in international children’s education, entertainment, and technology to reimagine the early learning journey starting with parents and children at home.”

Jamie Beaumont, managing partner at Lego Ventures, added: “Homer’s vision and approach to playful learning fosters curiosity and collaboration in children that aligns closely with Lego Ventures’ investment ethos supporting founders and companies in bringing the Lego idea of learning-through-play to life. We look forward to working with Neal and the excellent team he has built, and supporting Homer as they grow and scale their purposeful play offerings across hands-on, in-person and digital experiences.”

Steve Youngwood, president of media and education and chief operating officer of Sesame Workshop, Jyoti Parikh, head of brand, insights and communication at Lego Education, Xinkai Chen, group senior vice-president of Gymboree Global Education Group, and Michael Cohn, partner at GSV will join the Begin board.

Date published: 5 October 2020

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