Lightneer, the Finnish learning game studio founded by Rovio (Angry Birds) alumns together with some of the world’s top scientists from CERN, Helsinki and Oxford Universities, has just closed a $5 million seed funding round. The list of investors includes US-based GSV Acceleration, Helsinki-based IPR.VC, Brighteye VC from Paris and Reach Capital from Silicon Valley.
Founded in 2015, Lightneer leads what it calls a ‘fun-learning revolution’ and describes itself more of a movement than a regular gaming studio. Lightneer Co-founder and former Mighty Eagle of Rovio, Peter Vesterbacka, also joined us at this year’s EU-Startups Conference in Berlin.
Regarding the Lightneer mission, Peter explained: “After 3 billion downloads, and an extremely knowledgeable fanbase legacy of sling-shotting experts, we thought that what if we could give them something useful within the game mechanics too. Something as fun and entertaining as the best games in the world, with science invisible-learning qualities. What would the world look like, if the best games taught us particle physics?”
The gaming industry veterans have been developing their debut learning game Big Bang Legends, together with world’s leading science experts. The game focuses on stealth-learning key concepts from physics and chemistry, the story starting from the beginning of matter: the Big Bang. It also features a ground-breaking learning model called “Learn To Play” (instead of “Free To Play”), including more in-depth learning content starting from $0.99 / month subscription, with 30 second mini-lectures from world’s top scientists, such as the Oxford Professor Marcus du Sautoy and the world’s leading anti-matter expert Rolf Landua from CERN.
Lightneer is building an invisible-learning platform powered by a game engine. The first game Big Bang Legends introduces players to all of the 118 atoms of the Periodic Table of Elements rendered as collectible, adorable atom-hero creatures.
Lightneer’s CEO Lauri Järvilehto said: “Kids can learn hundreds of Pokémons, and all of their features by heart. How hard can 118 atom-heroes be to learn?”
The game has been launched in South East Asia, Hong Kong and Finland. In Asia, the game sky-rocketed to #1 Educational Game right after the launch. In Finland the game charted as the #1 most downloaded game in All Gamescategories on both iOS and Android. Lightneer prepares to launch the game globally in January 2018, with launch activities focused in the US and the UK.
The atom-hero characters’ Finnish voice actors include some of Finland’s most renowned entertainers and celebrities, such as rockstar Michael Monroe, Hollywood director Renny Harlin and Finland’s #1 pop star Robin. Lightneer will announce the celebrity lineup of the English version in the coming months. The game is currently available for a free download from Appstore and Google Play in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Finland.