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Airy Labs Raises $1.5M Seed Round

2011-08-03
Capital raised from Foundation Capital, Google Ventures, and Rick Thompson of Playdom.
PALO ALTO, CA, Airy Labs, Inc., developer of super fun social learning games for young children, today announced that it has secured seed financing of $1.5 million. The round was led by Foundation Capital with participation from Google Ventures, Rick Thompson (Playdom co-founder and former chairman), and other prominent angel investors and micro-cap venture capital firms.

Airy Labs' mission is to build massively popular games that integrate real learning value that parents love and won't feel guilty about letting their kids play. It is building a series of social learning games aimed toward teaching kids a wide variety of skills, both academic and non-academic. It is part of StartX, a Stanford entrepreneurial accelerator supported by one of the best mentor networks in the world.

"We believe that there is huge untapped potential in games, which are by definition learning systems, to teach children the skills they need for the rest of their lives," said Andrew Hsu, Chief Brain of Airy Labs. "We now have a world-class founding engineering team and our seed funding enables us to rapidly put together the pieces necessary to transform how our next generation learns. "

"I am thrilled to be leading Airy Labs' seed investment and look forward to working with Andrew and team to change the way the world learns," said Steve Vassallo, general partner at Foundation Capital. "Andrew is the most impressive young man I've met in years, and as a parent of three young children, I couldn't be more excited about where he's headed with Airy Labs."

"There is a huge opportunity here to really develop games for social good and individual development," said Rick Thompson, Playdom co-founder and former chairman. "Bringing financial success and a great social mission together is particularly satisfying in business, and I'm ecstatic to be involved."

Airy Labs is actively searching for star game developers and designers to join our team. For more information, visit www.airylabs.com/jobs.

Airy Labs was founded in 2011 by Andrew Hsu, who started molecular biology research at a University of Washington (UW) lab at age 10, won the grand prize at the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair at 11, matriculated at the UW at 12, and graduated with three bachelors of science degrees at the age of 16. At age 19, he was a 4th-year Ph.D. candidate in the Neuroscience Program at Stanford University when he left in early 2011 to pursue his startup dreams. He was recently named a Thiel 20-under-20 Fellow.

About Airy Labs

Airy Labs is creating the next generation of social learning games for kids. We build mobile and tablet games, browser-based social games, and massively multiplayer online games (MMOs), all with a core educational mission to teach kids the things they need to be successful in their lives. Airy Labs was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in Palo Alto. For more information, please visit www.airylabs.com.

About Andrew Hsu

Andrew Hsu is the founder of Airy Labs, a recent Thiel Fellow, and just turned 20. He was a 19 year-old 4th year Ph.D. candidate in the Neuroscience Program at Stanford University. He left in early 2011 to pursue his startup.

When he was 10, he started to conduct molecular biology research at a pathology lab at the University of Washington. A year afterward, at 11, Andrew became the youngest person to ever win a grand prize at the Washington State Science and Engineering Fair. He was also the youngest finalist in the history of the Intel International Science Fair.

He matriculated at the University of Washington at age 12 and graduated with three honors B.S. degrees in Neurobiology, Biochemistry, and Chemistry, and a minor in mathematics.

He is the author of several books, including A Life of Science. He was also a competitive swimmer when he was younger, posting the fastest 100 butterfly time on the West Coast of the US among 12-year-olds. Andrew has also appeared on NBC, ABC, CBS, Time Magazine for kids, and the National Geographic magazine for kids. His story has been included in a 4th grade textbook that was published in the US.

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