CIT GAP Funds Invests in Shark Tank Winner Zoobean
Startup Provides Personalized Recommendations of Children’s Books and Apps
HERNDON, Va., April 22, 2014-- Coming on the heels of its hugely successful appearance on ABC’s Shark Tank Friday night, Zoobean, an Arlington-based startup that creates personalized selections of children’s apps, books and reading guides, has received an investment from the CIT GAP Funds, according to an announcement today by the Center for Innovative Technology (CIT).
Shark Tank billionaire and entrepreneur Mark Cuban praised and invested in Zoobean, which helps parents of young children identify the best products and strategies for building their children’s literacy, saving them time while finding apps, books and resources that they can trust. The company employs a team of curators to rate and tag children’s books and apps. Customers enter a child’s interests, and the system generates personalized recommendations. Zoobean also provides reading guides and tools that facilitate collaboration between teachers and families.
CIT President and CEO Pete Jobse said, “Our CIT GAP Funds investment in Zoobean reflects our confidence in their team, product and passion to innovate childhood education. This is one more solid investment that is filling a growing demand of innovative entrepreneurs who are addressing societal challenges.”
Zoobean CEO Felix Brandon Lloyd said, “We will use the investment from CIT GAP Funds to increase marketing and continue product development.”
CIT GAP Funds is a family of seed- and early-stage investment funds placing near-equity and equity investments in Virginia-based high-growth technology, life science and clean technology companies.
Vice President of CIT Entrepreneur and Managing Director of the CIT GAP Funds Tom Weithman said, “CIT GAP Funds helps companies like Zoobean get the early-stage funding they need to grow. CIT GAP Funds looks for companies like Zoobean that have innovative ideas and the potential for strong growth.”
Since its 2005 launch, CIT GAP Funds has invested in over 100 companies across the Commonwealth of Virginia, deploying more than $13 million of public funds and attracting over $200 million more in private funding.
About the Center for Innovative Technology, http://www.cit.org
Since 1985, CIT, a nonprofit corporation, has been Virginia’s primary driver of innovation and entrepreneurship. CIT accelerates the next generation of technology and technology companies through commercialization, capital formation, market development and revenue generation services. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology start-up companies and advanced technology consumers. CIT’s CAGE Code is 1UP71. To learn more, please visit http://www.cit.org. Follow CIT on Twitter @CITorg and add the Center for Innovative Technology on LinkedIn and Facebook.
About the CIT GAP Funds, http://www.citgapfunds.org
CIT GAP Funds makes seed-stage equity investments in Virginia-based technology, clean tech and life science companies with a high potential for achieving rapid growth and generating significant economic return for entrepreneurs, co-investors and the Commonwealth of Virginia. CIT GAP Funds investments are overseen by the CIT GAP Funds Investment Advisory Board (IAB). This independent, third-party panel consists of leading regional entrepreneurs, angel and strategic investors, and venture capital firms such as: New Enterprise Associates, Grotech Ventures, Valhalla Partners, Harbert Venture Partners HIG Ventures, Edison Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Intersouth Partners, SJF Ventures, Carilion Clinic, Johnson & Johnson, General Electric and Alpha Natural Resources.
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