HEDLINE: Zoobean raises $250k from Mark Cuban

Washington D.C. based Zoobean, a curation platform for educational apps, books and literacy resources for children raised $250k from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank.

According to SEC filings Zoobean had previously raised $270k in debt and $573k from Kapor Capital.

Key Takeaway

Founded in 2012 by husband and wife team Felix Brandon Lloyd, a former teacher of the year and Jordan Lloyd Bookey, Google’s former head of K-12 education outreach, Zoobean started as a subscription based service for children’s books priced at $14.99 per month.

The startup has now added a recommendation service for children’s books and apps called Zoobean SmartList to its Zoobean Home subscription model for printed books which is now available for $9.99 per month.

One key feature of the new SmartList service is a better recommendation engine which selects content based on information like interests, age, and reading level of the child as well as family background, ethnicity and culture to create a personalized learning experience. The subscription starts at $7.99 for three months. SmartLists can also be shared with family members, other parents or teachers.

Curation platforms for educational apps and ebooks tend to raise decent amounts of funding, however they are often struggling to get traction. Educational app store and recommendation site KinderTown was acquired by Demme Learning in August 2013. FarFaria, another startup that offers a children’s book subscription service and has raised $3.25 million, just launched an Android app.

Further Reading

  • Children’s book recommendation site Zoobean leaves Shark Tank with $250K | Washington Business Journal
  • Shark Tank Ep525 ilumi, Zoobean, Intelli-Stopper, Fort Magic | ABC
  • Zoobean Grabs $500K From Kapor Capital & Others For Its Handpicked Kids’ Books Subscription Service & Online Shop | TechCrunch
  • Sunday Review: Chegg IPO, Kindertown sold, Language Courses Freefall | EDUKWEST


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Kirsten Winkler is the founder and editor of EDUKWEST. She also writes about Social Media, Digital Society and Startups at KirstenWinkler.com.