Research has shown that children need to be good listeners before they can be good readers.
The founders of a startup called Tales2Go believe audio books can boost kids’ listening comprehension skills in their formative early years. The education technology company offers a large online selection of audio books for teachers, parents, and children.
Today, Tales2Go received a $750,000 seed round of funding from Maryland Venture Fund and NewSchools Venture Fund. The Maryland-based company has raised a total of $1.37 million since it was founded in 2009.
The company is run by husband and wife entrepreneurs William and Tracey Weil. Tracey Weil, a mom with three young kids, had grown increasingly frustrated with keeping track of physical CDs. She lamented that a service didn’t exist to easily stream audio books and other educational content on a mobile device. So Tracey teamed up with her husband to launch a Netflix or Pandora-style service for audio books.
“Audio books are more than a nice library resource, or good for struggling readers, they are an important tool for reading achievement in the classroom and a needed resource to aid parents at home,” said William Weil in a statement.
Tales2Go’s technology can make recommendations for audio books based on individual preferences, which can be streamed on a laptop or mobile device. A teacher can make suggestions to individual students, or choose to assign the same audio book to an entire class or grade.
The company makes its money by charging schools to subscribe to its service. Tales2Go offers both monthly and annual subscription plans.