LearnPeaks introduces augmented-reality to the toy market in eastern Europe

learnpeaks-screenChildren have for ages grown up playing with dolls, blocks, and other toys. In the past handful of years, however, the iPad moved in to replace these older toys as the preferred option for entertaining many young child. One startup attempting to innovate by combining toys old and new with augmented reality games geared at children is Italy-based LearnPeaks.

The startup was founded last year by Ukrainian Maxim Ronshin and Belarussian Dzmitry Maiseyenka in order to assist children to learn and to  develop their motor skills.

For a young startup, they are pretty ambitious in their initial product-line. They are starting out with a set of Ukrainian-language blocks, Russian-language blocks (currently on sale in Russia and Belarus and coming soon to Kazakhstan), a simple puzzle game, and an augmented-reality children’s book from author Evgeny Mayevsky. The products are retailing for between $2 and $20, but the companion apps are free to download.

As the service involves iPhones and iPads, the competition would essentially be any mobile games currently on the market that focuses on children. The difference is that this service is designed to combine offline and online aspects, while mobile games merely keep children glued to the screen.

Ronshin tells me that the company has reached agreements to sell their products through the Ukrainian supermarket chain Silpo, which operates more than 250 stores across Ukraine. The startup is backed by 24K Euro that they obtained from Italian accelerator TechPeaks last August and they are currently in the process of getting  the business off the ground. Growth is the name of the game and Ronshin says that they are looking to launch their iOS-related product line and to then find investors for further expansion.

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