Home Health 20 apps, 2 million downloads in 150 countries. Marshmallow history

20 apps, 2 million downloads in 150 countries. Marshmallow history

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20 apps, 2 million downloads in 150 countries.  Marshmallow history

Since 2014, since the startup was born, they have brought to the market 20 apps that have exceeded 2 million downloads worldwide (the United States and China are the two reference markets) and reached the first places in the rankings in the children category in over 150 countries. Apps inspired by the teaching of Stems and values ​​ranging from the environment, to inclusion, to the prevention of bullying, so much so that Unicef ​​Italia has also chosen them as a partner to convey these issues to children and to support education for free. of Ukrainian refugee children in our country. “A commitment that fills us with pride” he declared Cristina Angelilloceo and co-founder of Marshmallow Games, a company that develops educational apps for children, born in Bari 8 years ago. The secret to reaching families? “In addition to personal experience, which can only be indicative, we interface directly with associations of parents and educators to share with them the needs of their children, their desire to follow their progress”.

Digital and education, a 20 billion market

In the growth path of the company founded, as well as by Cristina Angelilloda Massimo Michetti (Coo), Marianna Pappalardi (Creative Director) e Francesco Capozzi (Cto), in recent days, however, another element has been added: the closure of an investment round of 2 million euros, led by Cdp Venture Capital, through the Italia Venture II Fund – Fondo Imprese Sud, together with the impact fund investing Sefea Impact. With this operation, the value of the capital raised over the years by the company has risen to 3.5 million: the funds, in addition to investors and entities, including Boost Heroes and Invitalia, and other business angels have given confidence to the company. Italians.

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“In the last two years, the positive impact of digital in children’s teaching and learning has become increasingly evident, if used in the right way. International VCs have identified this trend and investments in this market have almost tripled: let’s talk about 20 billion dollars of investments in 2021. In our case, there were several rewarding elements. First of all the results achieved in recent years with our products, in particular with our latest app, Smart Tales, a collection of interactive stories for children for learning Stem subjects, which boasts an already consolidated international presence, combined with numerous awards from associations of parents and educators “.

The growth strategy

The operation will make it possible to support the company’s international development path and its position in Italy. “The main objective is to aim for the international growth of Smart Tales, our flagship product already named”App of the day”In over 50 countries, fully localized and dubbed in 5 languages. The goal is to become one of the leaders in the edutainment sector in the preschool segment at a global level and specifically the strategy is aimed at growth in the main English-speaking markets and at strengthening the position of leader in Italy “.

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Expand the team

To implement the company’s growth program, Marshmallow Games has also launched a hiring plan that will bring the Bari office team from 19 people involved to over 30 in the next 12 months, expanding the business areas (development, graphics and animation, marketing and sales). “We want to achieve one split gender IT del 50-50% among our tech figures and overturn that trend that still sees a male prevalence in this area: heterogeneous teams work much better. But our reality is not just made up of developers: we have a multidisciplinary team that includes pedagogical experts alongside artists, marketing and communication experts and game designers “.

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Bari and Puglia “allow us to offer a high quality in terms of work life balance and cost of living, so much so that during interviews, even for the most sought-after IT figures, for many candidates from different parts of Italy and the world represents an element of value. I believe that the context in which we operate has allowed us to create that corporate climate for which, since 2014, we have had a turnover rate close to zero “.

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An idea born like this

Before becoming a company, Marshmallow Games was born as an idea “when – says Cristina Angelillo – during my first pregnancy, I was forced to a rest period that also allowed me to reflect on how to reconcile my greatest passions: children and education on the one hand, technology on the other. I worked as a hardware designer in a telecommunications company, but I was not passionate about that job. So, together with my partner, who is also a digital entrepreneur with a background in computer science similar to mine, and to the other cofounders, I left for this adventure just as I was expecting my first baby “. And the name? After the startup of the startup, the group decided to participate in a tender “we only had half an hour to choose a name. We thought of something that reminded the world of children and we immediately thought of candies”.

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The pandemic

Cristina retraced the company’s first eight years and focused on two moments in particular. In 2015, the Turin International Book Fair awarded the company as the best digital publishing startup, “one of the first awards obtained, an extra push to continue pursuing our objectives even in the face of the obstacles it faces at the beginning. every startup “.

And then the months of the pandemic. “During the first weeks of the pandemic, we understood that the digital learning market was destined to establish itself even beyond the momentary boom that there was. Smart Tales, one month after its official launch, in spring 2020 had exceeded 50,000 downloads. all over the world in an organic way “.

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