An Interactive Video-Calling Platform
Caribu is an interactive video-calling platform. It helps parents and grandparents read and draw with their kids or grandkids when they’re not in the same location.
Its in-app library has more than 700 books in seven languages from leading children’s publishers, along with interactive educational workbooks and activities users can draw on in real-time. The result is an engaging experience in a carefully designed, curated, secure platform.
As users say, “It’s FaceTime that kids don’t run away from.”
These days, many parents either work late, travel for work, serve in the military, or split time with their kids as a result of divorce. At the same time, 90% of grandparents live far away from their grandchildren. Yet both of these groups use smartphones and tablets to stay connected with their loved ones.
The problem is, most parents and grandparents use standard video calls. Kids tend to hate these calls, making long-distance relationship building difficult.
Caribu helps bridge this communication gap by creating an engaging literacy platform for kids, and a tool to help parents/grandparents connect with their young family members while they’re away.
To start, Caribu is targeting grandparents. There are 72 million grandparents in the U.S. alone, and each spends an average of $1,200 a year entertaining his/her grandchildren. This is an $86 billion market opportunity.
More specifically, Caribu is targeting what it calls a glamorous grandma, or “glamma.” This is a woman who is between 50 to 70 years old, is tech-savvy, stays in touch with her family, and has disposable income she uses to spoil her grandchildren.
Based on a January 2019 Product Market Fit survey, nearly half of grandparents surveyed said they’d be “very disappointed” if Caribu didn’t exist.
To receive initial funding, Caribu’s team entered into several “pitch” competitions and presented its idea to potential investors. Between 2017 and 2018, the company won or was a finalist in 30 competitions, resulting in $100,000 in investments.
Caribu won Toyota Mother of Invention award, which came with a $50,000 grant. In addition, it won the 1776 Global Pitch Competition, which helped secure an investment from AT&T and Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund. In total, the company raised $1.3 million.
Today, Caribu has 50,000 users in over 160 countries. Last year, users spent a total of 250,000 minutes on Caribu’s platform. And 2019 year-to-date revenue is 71% higher than the Q1 and Q2 2018 total.
The company has notable partnerships with Mattel, Highlights, and Sesame Street to produce new content for the platform. And Caribu has partnered with non-profit Blue Star Families to donate free subscriptions of its platform to active military members. In 2018, Toyota sponsored 2,000 Caribu subscriptions for military families during the holiday season.
Caribu is offered through a monthly subscription that offers unlimited access to the digital library and video calls. This subscription costs $6.99 per month, and Caribu has a 50/50 revenue share with its content publishers. In the future, the company will offer annual subscriptions, family plans, and a lifetime option.
The company has a 4.6-star rating in the App Store, and has received positive reviews from celebrities including Alex Rodriguez, Howie Mandel, and Nick Lachey.
Caribu has a 90% subscriber retention rate, and its cost to acquire each customer has decreased 70% in the past year. At the same time, each customer’s lifetime revenue has increased 25%.
Moving forward, Caribu will increase its marketing efforts, specifically with ads on Google and Facebook, as well as TV and direct mail campaigns. It will also look to partner with organizations that take care of senior citizens.
The company will add additional content to its platform, and will aim to build new revenue streams. More specifically, it will move from targeting grandparents to targeting parents who are divorced, and those who travel. By reaching 575,000 users, Caribu projects it will generate more than $40 million in revenue in the next three years.
Finally, the company will build a new platform to license its technology to tutoring and language learning companies. This is a $150 billion global market opportunity.
Prior to starting Caribu, Maxeme was one of 16 individuals appointed by the President of the United States to serve as a White House Fellow, America’s most prestigious program for leadership and public service. She worked as a fellow for the U.S. Department of Treasury.
For three years, she was Executive Director of the Miami-Dade region of Teach for America, a non-profit dedicated to advancing educational opportunities for all students.
She was an associate consultant for Booz & Company, a consulting firm, and was a consultant for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Maxeme began her career in New York, working as a production manager for MTV Networks, and as a special projects manager for the Office of the Mayor of New York City.
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from New College of Florida and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Tiffany has extensive domain experience working in the design and children’s entertainment industries.
For six years, she worked for Disney Publishing as an interactive designer and a senior digital designer.
In addition to her duties with Caribu, Tiffany owns Daydream Interactive, a freelance business offering services including graphic design, mobile app production, and eBook design.
She spent three years as a designer for Printers Row Publishing Group, a company that’s created children’s books for 20 years.
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Art and Graphic Design from the University of Central Missouri.
Alvaro has more than a decade of experience as an entrepreneur.
Before starting Caribu, he co-founded LinnDo, a design agency specializing in creating images for brands. In addition, he co-founded JAMedia, a company supplying media-related brands with management and production services.
Alvaro earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Universidad San Pablo, and a Master’s degree in Innovation from Imperial College in London.
Kalman previously worked as the Head of Content for Aidoc Medical, a company developing Artificial Intelligence software that scans medical images for radiologists.
He co-founded Bootstrap Boards, an office supply company that sold its products through Amazon.com.
For nearly four years, he was a product strategy lead for Booksicals.com, a company that collaborates with education-related businesses to provide children’s books to kids around the world.
Kalman earned a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego, and an MBA from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
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