Pittsburgh, PA — Edtechtainment startup Digital Dream Labs, Inc. (DDL) is proving that the future of robotics isn’t confined to automatons that perform the dirty, dangerous and repetitive tasks that humans don’t want to do themselves. The company sees a future filled with playful little robots whose expressive personalities make them as much a member of the family as any other pet. The company is also evidence that these little robotic companions are a solid investment as the company recently closed a $1 million equity raise and announced a post-investment valuation of $20 million.
Cozmo and Vector, two of the products currently offered by the company, are so much more than just educational toys; they’re AI-powered companion robots. These droids -- with the expressive, responsive eyes -- represent some of the most advanced robotics capabilities in the world. Additionally, the company has open-sourced much of Vector’s code, allowing customers to customize many aspects of their robot, including its eyes, voice, boot animation, and more. With the Butter Robot from the hit Adult Swim cartoon “Rick and Morty” and plans to relaunch the popular Overdrive racing game speeding quickly forward, Digital Dream Labs is poised for a breakout year.
In addition to consumer robots, DDL also makes fun, educational video games that teach STEAM topics. Recent releases Monstrous Molecules and Abacus Finch teach players chemistry and math, respectively.
To help it expand, Digital Dream Labs recently closed a $1 million equity raise. Fully committed in less than 30 days, the round was led by 99 Tartans – an angel investor group of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) alumni, investing in alumni-led companies (DDL’s CEO, Jacob Hanchar, is a CMU grad), among other private angel investors.
“We’re very happy that this positions us for future growth and enhances the value for current investors,” says CEO Jacob Hanchar.
In 2019, the company raised an astounding 4022% of their crowdinvesting goal, finishing with more that $1 million (from 4,630 individual investors) on the crowdfunding platform Republic. Despite a turbulent economy, the company’s valuation has since quadrupled to $20 million.
While the company has seen explosive growth throughout much of the last year, DDL hasn’t been immune to the impact of the global pandemic. Recent pre-order campaigns for several of their popular consumer robots have been slowed by lock-downs and related supply chain issues. “Resuming manufacturing for Cozmo and Vector is the first major step in this journey,” says Hanchar. “We’re incredibly grateful to all of the customers who took that leap with us and I’m certain that their patience will be rewarded when we begin shipping these robots.”
When asked about the company’s future, Hanchar pointed to recent partnerships with companies like Warner Brothers and children’s entertainment company Sutikki. “I’m thrilled with all that we’ve accomplished, but there are even bigger things coming,” he said. “We’re very excited about the projects on the horizon.”
Digital Dream Labs is an edutainment company that develops engaging learning solutions for people of all ages. Through their innovative suite of interactive and hands-on video games and consumer robots, Digital Dream Labs is transforming the way science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) topics are taught in homes and classrooms around the world. More information about Digital Dream Labs and their portfolio of educational technology games and consumer robots can be found at www.digitaldreamlabs.com.