Sphero raises $12M as it focuses on education

This year has been a rough one for Sphero. The Colorado-based doll robotics startup kicked off the year with dozens of layoffs, an expression of the results of tepid those who are interested in its line of Disney-branded consumer products.

Here’s a little good news, nonetheless. The corporation has raised another $12 million, bringing its total up to around $119 million, according to Crunchbase. The latest round will go into helping shape the BB-8 manufacturer into an education-first company.

” The recent round of funding has currently elevated $12 million, and we anticipate at the time of final closing up to $20 million may be raised in total, ” Sphero said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. Funding has/ will come from existing and new investors and will be used for working capital as we engage in a larger strategy that focuses on the intersection of play and learning.”

It’s a tricky play-act, given how overcrowded “the worlds” of coding toys is at the moment, but Sphero has long been building out its is participating in the space, in tandem with its more consumer-focused provides.

Following the success of its The Force Awakens BB-8 tie in, the company quadrupled down on its involvement with Disney’s accelerator, releasing high-tech playthings based on Spider-Man and Lightning McQueen from Cars.

“[ Education] is something we were able to own, ” the company told me after the layoffs were disclosed. “Where we do well are those experiences we can 100 percent own, from inception to go-to-market.”

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