Browsing through Tabtale’s library of apps make me want to be a kid again. You get to plan a puppy birthday party, fly around the universe on a unicorn, and work as an ice cream sundae chef.
The maker of these popular children’s games has secured $12 million to compete with large corporations like Disney, Rovio, and Electronic Arts and keep children entertained.
Tel Aviv-based Tabtale launched three years ago with its first app, A Christmas Tale. Since then, it has created over 240 interactive books, games, and education apps and claims to have 220 million downloads and more than 20 million monthly active users.
Mobile analytics company App Annie recently ranked Tabtale as the No. 7 publisher for monthly iOS game downloads and climbing. A lot of this growth was driven by its fashion-makeover app Design It, medical role-playing game Doctor X – Med School, and the ice cream maker game.
Gaming and children’s education are two thriving areas of mobile tech. Kids love to play with digital devices, and parents love that it is an easy way to occupy kids while they do other things.
It is also an extremely crowded and competitive space, and Tabtale’s traction is impressive.
The apps are brightly colored and primarily target girls. There are a number of “play grown-up” games, like getting ready for a wedding, taking care of a house, and profession-themed games like doctors and chefs — as well as stereotypically girly games like “princess party planner” and “college chic makeover. “
It still mystifies me that little girls want to pretend to take care of babies and do housework, and I can’t help bristling slightly with feminist indignation at the preponderance of “makeover” and “dress-up” and “princess” apps, but I am easily distracted by ice cream and puppies.
The library also has an array of popular stories, such as Little Red Riding Hood and Peter Pan, and holiday-themed games, including the story of Moses and Passover and Noah’s Ark (woohoo, Bible fun!).
Founder and chief executive officer Sagi Schliesser said the company is already profitable and consistently one of the top publishers in the App Store, Google Play Android, and Amazon marketplace.
Qualcomm Ventures and Magma Venture Partners co-led this round, along with Vintage Investment Ventures and private investors.
Schliesser said the funding will primarily be used to acquire gaming companies and add to its team. Tabtale acquired an app developer called Kids Games Club in January 2013 and is considering M&A a core part of its growth strategy.
This brings the total capital raised to $13.5 million.