Israeli startup GiantLeap, which preforms gamification for cognitive function tests for kids that can be conducted at home, announced a $900,000 funding round led by American VC GoAhead Ventures, as informed to Geektime. In addition to round investors were Fusion LA, an accelerator program for Israeli startups in the U.S., Texas Medical Center, and private investors from the states.
Analyze children’s progress from home and without any professional help
GiantLeap developed a system that collects developmental measurements from children through a cognitive gaming app that they play for 20 minutes. GiantLeap’s system takes the collected data and combines it with subjective feedback, collected from parents, teachers, youth counselors, and others. This results in the system producing a comprehensive chart of the child’s skills and capabilities.
The scientific results are then translated into layman terms for the parents to better understand which subjects their child is struggling with, as well as providing guidance on how to help them improve. Furthermore, the test shows the child’s strengths and provides parents with critical knowledge on how to better nurture these skills and strengths.
GiantLeap was founded in 2018 by Ori Hofnung and Nadav Goshen. In an interview with Geektime, Hofnung tells that the idea stems from personal experience: “Despite being diagnosed as a kid with a high IQ, I still had trouble reading until I was 12. During my school years, my weaknesses were highlighted time and time again, while my strengths were totally ignored. My parents felt the pressure of finding the right educational path for me. GiantLeap was born as a solution for my parents, and the many other parents who face similar challenges.”
Hofnung explains that the system was developed in a combined effort with leading developmental researchers from Israel and the U.S. The system is made up of two separate interfaces, which are linked through a shared database. The first interface is intended for the child, and it’s made up of a series of games that are actually advanced cognitive tests that have gone through the process of gamification in order to get the kids to better interact and feel comfortable. By utilizing this method, the testing can be done in a controlled and familiar environment to the kid, like the comfort of their own couch, and can be done alone, without the “judging” eyes of parents or professionals.
The second interface is for the parents and contains a series of questions that the parents answers, so that the system can get a more comprehensive picture of the child’s behavior at home and school. The data is then run through GiantLeap’s AI-powered algorithm, providing parents with a skill and content chart devised especially for their child, giving parents complete control.
GiantLeap joined forces with Texas Medical Center (leading U.S. research center) in a strategic partnership, which allowed the company to meet the market at an early stage and build the system based on real feedback that was collected from a U.S.-based pilot. GiantLeap launched the product as part of open beta in the U.S. in February 2020, and more than 2,000 children and adults are already using the new innovative platform.
Founding Partner at Fusion LA, Yair Vardi explained: “We strongly believe in the team at GiantLeap and the potential of the U.S. Parenting Technology market. GiantLeap’s system has also been adapted to COVID-19 reality, and the company hopes that it will help millions of parents better understand their kids and help with their development.” GiantLeap claims that the newly acquired funds will help recruit necessary talent that will help further develop and improve the system and create more successful partnerships.