Osmo launched a crowdfunding campaign in May, bringing in $2.4 million in revenue via online pre-orders for the device that blends the physical and digital worlds. In September it began shipping roughly 33,000 of its devices, which are being used in 2,000 schools.
Now Osmo will be available for $79 in the 284 Apple stores in the United States and Canada. The attraction of being in Apple stores is the company’s heavy foot traffic, and commitment to demoing Osmo.
“The fact that somebody can come in a store and get a demo of the product, that really changes the game,” Sharma said. “It’s much harder for us to put the product on the shelves and for someone to just understand what it is. They need to see it in action.”
The $12 million series A round of funding is led by Accel Partners. Upfront Ventures and K9 Ventures are also contributing.
“Osmo hit the perfect intersection of all the innovation around the gaming space, the education space, and all tied behind the rise of mobile devices and the iPad specifically,” said Accel Partners’ Rich Wong, who will be joining Osmo’s board of directors.
Late in 2015 the Palo Alto, Calif.-based start-up envisions opening up the platform for third-party developers who want to build games for Osmo.
“It’s particularly hard for third parties to build an amazing experience if they don’t have great examples,” Sharma said. “To me what we’re building — the three games we’ve built and two more games we want to build — they’re going to serve as a great example of what’s possible with Osmo.”
For now Osmo has worked to add a personal touch to the three games it offers. It has launched MyOsmo, in which users of its Words game can upload images of their choosing and associate them with related words. For example, a parent might upload photos of relatives and have a children spell out “uncle,” “grandma,” etc.
“We’re trying to build an Apple meets Pixar level of brand and quality and that requires a huge investment in just the time and effort required. That’s one big area where the new funding will help us a lot in scaling the product,” Sharma said.
The other games currently offered on Osmo are a Tangram game, and one called Newton, where the player draws on a piece of paper in front of the iPad to control how balls bounce on the screen.