Two friends, Natalie and Alexander, was fond of mathematics since childhood and graduated from Moscow state University. Becoming mothers, they wanted to introduce math to their children. However, among the many apps to find one that doesn’t just taught the basics, and develop logic and reasoning, has proven difficult. How to create Funexpected Math — mobile app for preschoolers — and what skills it develops, said one of its founders, Natalia Pereldik.

A love of mathematics as the beginning of a friendship

Natalia and Alexander met in grade 9 mathematics schools. Before graduation I sat at the same bench, together came to the mekhmat, and even a diploma wrote one supervisor. However, their lives were not only school — girls repeatedly went to hitchhike through Europe. The trip has strengthened the friendship and taught find a way out of difficult situations.

After graduation, the question arose of what to do next. Despite the love for mathematics, to devote my life to science or Sasha or Natasha had planned. As a result, their professional paths diverged, Alexander received a second higher education in Polygraph (Moscow state University of printing named after Ivan Fedorov), became a graphic designer and had two daughters. Natalia attended the Russian economic school and got a job as a trader in a Bank. Both had a successful career, but despite being busy at work and rare meeting, they kept in touch and remained good friends. 10 years after graduation, Natalia was born a son, and Alexander the third time became a mother. Because their children were the same age, a friend again began to communicate a lot. Of course, they were concerned about the comprehensive development of children.

Find the app — also quest

According to Natalia, her son Ilya from early childhood fell in love with numbers. Together they were inspired to come up with and solve simple problems and puzzles. When the son of Natalia became a little older, he, like many children, became interested in playing apps on your tablet. A young mother tried to find among them those who would develop math skills four-year old. But this has proved difficult: there was only a single game for development of arithmetic skills. However, there was no geometry, no puzzles. This required you to download other apps. Then women decide to make a product that would combine different types of exercises.

From idea to implementation

The first sketches of the future game Alexander sketched at the end of 2017 Girlfriend immediately understood that the project has a future, and decided to open his own Studio, which he called Funexpected. To develop and run the application lasted for about a year. Think of the first three mini-games, the girls began to look for a man that would help them to realise your ideas — their knowledge about gaming and its processes was not enough. Those wishing to join a startup were few, and needed to find a professional developer. To test technical skills of applicants girlfriends could not, therefore, trust my experience and intuition. So there came Jacob Borevich, which is engaged in the technical implementation of the project. App called Funexpected Math.

Total investments at the development stage amounted to approximately $90 thousand, the first version of the application contained six mini-games. The girls knew what to look for investors at this stage is difficult and uneconomical. Participation in acceleration programs or grant funding is also decided to postpone until a working prototype. Therefore, to attract initial funds used classic FFF (Friends, Family, Founders) — own investments, the help of friends and family.

The beginning of the promotion

In Russia, the app appeared in January 2019, and in April it became available in Canada. The startup has chosen the strategy of soft start simultaneously with the promotion of app they are working on improving it: improve interface and add content. To date, Apple has included the app in a list of recommendations on the App Store. A few months Funexpected Math downloaded and installed over 9 thousand users. According to the founders of a startup, 60% of them came through the free channels — search in the App Store and recommendations from other users. Subscription paid — 269. per month, with one game available for free; in addition, there is a seven-day trial access to all content.

Global app launch scheduled for mid-2019, the project Team has set a goal of 10 thousand paid subscribers by year-end. According to their forecasts, it’s real. Despite the fact that to draw conclusions about the interest in the app and the average life of the user it is still early, the trend, according to the developers, positive. Most people who have installed Funexpected Math, saves it, and updates leads to a surge of interest of old members.

Boys and girls and their parents

The app is designed for children 3-6 years old. His creation, the authors approached seriously and studied a lot of literature on training and development of preschoolers, as well as current research on educational neuroscience. The main goal was creating an application in the form of games to develop logic, spatial reasoning, taught to understand and to see mathematical patterns. The developers wanted to keep the baby math as easily and naturally as their native language.

The training is a game character: the child travels the country, meets unusual characters and solve puzzles. If the child easily passes the game, tasks become more complicated. If difficulties arise, appear tips. So that parents understand what the game is useful for children, the application creates a separate section. It moms and dads explain what skills develops one or the other game. It helps to fight prejudice about the dangers of gadgets that still have some adults.

Global expansion

The company now permanently employs 10 people. Their task — development of new mini-games. Individual tasks, such as writing music or creating a voice given to outsourcing. Natalia is engaged in the development of the strategy and attract new users. Alexander uses his knowledge of the designer and is responsible for making creative and designer piece. In so doing, it helps an animator and Illustrator. Maria in charge of marketing.

While the app is available in two countries — Russia and Canada. According to Natalia, they have consciously made that choice. Russia is that they understand the environment and target audience. It managed to win popularity and to achieve free conversion of units to purchase of a subscription.

Canada is serving as a test site for testing of instruments of promotion and gathering feedback from users. It is necessary that a large-scale international expansion has turned out as successfully as possible. It is planned that the app will be available in all 155 countries where the App Store is. Natalia and Alexander hope that Funexpected Math will be in demand abroad. For such expectations are justified. According to a report by Ambient Insight, educational games are gaining popularity. From 2016-2020 g. projected market growth from $2.6 billion to $7.3 billion with an annual growth rate of 22%. Segment pre-school education began to be developed later than the others and is now experiencing a period of rapid development.

Author: Firsova Kristina

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