Tiggly, a Financial District-based interactive toy company, upped the ante to engage kids' minds this week.
The company unveiled Tiggly Counts -- colorful, lightweight toys geared for ages 3-6 that work in tandem with iPad apps to teach kids numbers, counting and basic math. According to the company, research shows that 75% of American kids have access to tablets and mobile devices, and 38% of those under 2 years old have already used them.
This is the latest app-based toy set from Tiggly, which was founded in May 2012 by a team of tech experts who raised money from friends, family and a small venture capital firm in India. Roughly a year later, they launched Tiggly Shapes, which helps children develop shape recognition and fine motor skills.
Today, Tiggly Shapes is sold in 300 Apple stores around the globe -- including all in the United States and Canada -- and the FAO Schwartz on Fifth Avenue. It's also featured in several museums in San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
According to Azadeh Jamalian, the company's co-founder and CEO, Tiggly has received store orders for 20,000 sets of Tiggly Shapes, and its corresponding apps have been used more than 700,000 times around the globe as of early October.
After securing about $4 million in additional funding from a toy company in Germany, Haba, the company developed Tiggly Counts. Jamalian said Tiggly hopes to launch about two to three sets of toys per year.
New York, as opposed to a tech hub like Silicon Valley, is the ideal location for Tiggly thanks to the access to creative talent, said Jamalian.
"There's a lot of creative talent in the city, and we have access to one of the best education schools in the country, which is [Columbia University] Teacher's College," said Jamalian, paying homage to her alma mater.
The company, which has grown from three to 13 employees since starting, is comprised of designers who came from New York offices of kids' learning programs such as "Blue's Clues," and Nickelodeon's Team Umizoomi project.
Tiggly Counts will be on sale in U.S. Apple stores for $29.95 on Nov. 11.