Edinburgh-based Skoogmusic has announced its largest funding round to date – with £560,000 secured from the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, and from Old College Capital and a number of private investors.
The inventors of the Skoog, the interactive cube for children to learn, explore and have fun making music, will use the investment to fund an international sales and marketing drive following deals with two new global distribution partners; Tech Data in Europe and Ingram Micro in the US.
As the company scales up its operation, company co-founder Ben Schogler will step into the role of Skoogmusic chief executive with technology industry stalwart Andy Gordon as chairman. One of the round’s investors, private equity investor Paul Murray, will join the company as a non-executive Director.
The eight year-old business also plans to extend the Skoog product family, developing and launching new entry level hardware next year so that more people can access Skoogmusic technology. The company will continue to develop its apps across coding, sampling and creative music making, translating them into eight languages for international markets.
Skoog currently retails in Apple stores around the world and is part of the company’s education programmes. This includes the multi-sensory Apple Field Trips – creative learning workshops hosted for teachers and students in stores around the world, and Apple Distinguished Educators, who showcase how technology can transform education.
Skoog is also one of the devices connected to Apple’s educational coding app Swift Playgrounds – offering a new way to learn to code using robots, drones and Skoog.
The new investment means that Skoogmusic has raised £2m to date. The business has also been successful on the pioneering tech crowdfunding site Indiegogo, where it raised more than £50,000 in pre-sales for Skoog 2.0.
“This is another hugely exciting step for Skoog,” said Ben Schögler. “The investment enables us to work with Apple and partners like Ingram Micro and TechData to reach more children in more countries around the world. It’s not what you play that’s important but it is crucial that you do play. And this investment means more play and more music for everyone.”
Kerry Sharp, director of the Scottish Investment Bank, added: “It’s great to see the Skoog product being sold internationally and being recognised as a truly innovative musical instrument. This is a key sector for the Scottish economy and we look forward to helping the company achieve its growth ambitions.’
Andrea Young, Fund Manager at Old College Capital, the in-house venture capital fund of the University of Edinburgh, said: ‘We are very proud to support the ongoing global success of Skoogmusic, a business that was founded and nurtured in its early days, here at the university.”