MOSCOW, RUSSIA — Following a successful showing at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month, Russian developer CINEMOOD announced today that the IIDF fund of Moscow has invested USD $2.5 million Series A equity. The capital will support the startup’s manufacturing, downstream R&D and market expansion.
CINEMOOD is the maker of innovative, portable mini-cinema projector devices with a content platform for kids. In 2016 the company has released its second model which is is a complete platform of hardware and entertainment and educational content. This gen-2 version was a hit on crowdsourcing site Indiegogo, raising more than USD $150,000 in pre-sales.
CINEMOOD platform consists of portable mini-cinema projector and a set of silicon covers shaped like cartoon characters that feature NFC-markers to trigger content downloads. CINEMOOD surpasses competitive pico mini-projectors because it’s designed especially for young viewers – the user interface is simple enough for small children, the entire projector fits on the palm of their hands, and the walled-garden platform ensures only age-appropriate content is projected.
CINEMOOD hardware features a cube form-factor that projects video onto any smooth surface. It’s pre-loaded with +150 hours of multilingual content including licensed animated shows, audio stories, and creative and educational lessons. Additional content can be downloaded in an innovative, “click-free” way: kids just outfit the projector with one of the special silicon covers it comes with. Each silicon cover is shaped like a particular cartoon character and has a hidden Near Field Communication (“NFC”) marker, the same technology found in contactless payments. When the silicon cover is placed over the projector it automatically downloads that character’s content from CINEMOOD’s cloud content library to the projector via Wi-Fi.
“As parents, we created CINEMOOD for our own children,” said CINEMOOD cofounder Mike Bukhovtsev. “We loaded the device with a huge library with licensed content – cartoons we loved as kids, digital books, lullabies, shadow puppet show tutorials and popular new cartoons. It’s all safe, curated content — not like when kids browse YouTube or the Internet. We are pioneering mini-cinema for family entertainment and think it will take off in the market the way gaming devices did in the past.”
“CINEMOOD is not simply a fine projector but a gateway for a whole multimedia ecosystem of children’s content. The project team designed it so that the children could watch constantly updated and interesting content without advertising, and parents would not have to worry about kids changing content filters, browsing YouTube, or visiting inappropriate sites. CINEMOOD solves that longstanding problem for parents, and thanks to this advantage the project will rapidly grow in the USD $15 billion addressable market across the USA, Europe, and Russia,” said IIDF’s Director of Portfolio Management Sergey Negodyaev.
CINEMOOD is the international name of the Russian project MULTiKUBIK founded in 2014. The company’s mission is to revolutionize the way kids access entertainment and educational content and spend time with their families. In 2016 the startup launched a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo raising USD $150,000. The same year it raised seed capital from investors on the StarTrack platform, and won USD $55,000 in the Startup Village competition.
Internet Initiatives Development Fund is a Russian VC fund provides early-stage tech startups with investment and an acceleration program. The fund has over 260 startups in its portfolio. According to Dow Jones VentureSource data for 2014-2016 IIDF is one of the most active seed fund in Europe by the number of deals.