Estonian startup 99math, which runs eSports-style competitions for math students, just raised €454K to help accelerate its growth.
Co-founded in 2018 by a 19-year-old Estonian recent high school graduate and gaming lover, Timo Timmi, 99math has already had 30,000 elementary students from around the world participate in its eSports style math league.
Change Ventures led the funding round, joined by the Good Deed Education Fund and Martin Villig, co-founder of Estonian unicorn startup Bolt. The learning platform is free to use for both kids and teachers as 99math is now paving the way for schools to engage their 1st-6th grade students in the subject of math more effectively. Tõnis Kusmin, a serial entrepreneur and founder of Tebo, a platform of teacher-generated lesson content has also joined the team.
Co-founder Timo Timmi commented, “Math is one of the most important skills we can learn in school, but grades in math are declining around the world. I believe it is because of the way it is being taught in schools just doesn’t feel fun or engaging to Generation Z. If math were as engaging as gaming, the next generation would far exceed the previous with powerful problem-solving skills. In turn we would hopefully have more engineers, scientists, and astronauts.”
The platform created “Math Game Days” where math students face-off in real-time math battles with live viewers. To participate, all that’s needed is a smartphone or tablet and a WiFi connection, which means the barriers to entry are very low and adoption can be widespread.
Bolt’s co-founder Martin Villig added “Estonian school students are currently first in the world in terms of math understanding and results. I think the way it is taught is imperative to the results. It feels great to see so many students already join the platform and get excited about math”.
“99math has shown that their online math competitions between schools, students and leagues engage tens of thousands of students across the world to practice math. We want to help this team grow 99math and revolutionize how kids perceive and practice math,” Yrjö Ojasaar, Investment Partner, Change Ventures.