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A number of leading children's brands, including Lego and Sesame Workshop, are among the investors pouring $50 million into BEGiN, the New York startup behind the early-learning program HOMER.

Why it matters: Thus far, HOMER has focused on reading apps, but with the new funding and partnerships, the company says it will expand to a full early-learning program combining digital, physical and in-person experiences, tapping some of its investors for both content and distribution.


  • Other investors include Trustbridge Partners and Interlock Partners and the lead investor behind Gymboree Play and Music.
  • Former Mattel and Babytree executive Siddharth Mathur is joining the company as executive chairman.
  • Sesame Workshop COO Steve Youngwood, Lego Education's Jyoti Parikh and Gymboree's Xinkai Chen and GSV partner Michael Cohn will also join the board.

Between the lines: HOMER's expansion comes as parents around the globe are looking for new early learning options amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What they're saying: "HOMER helps parents architect a unique learning journey for their child based on the specific way that they learn," CEO Neal Shenoy told Axios. "This approach helps all children appreciate that they are powerful learners, even when that learning does not occur in a formal classroom setting."

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