0

The most crowdfunded ed-tech project in Kickstarter history.

$1.6 million, from 6,553 backers in 96 countries.

more news

Quick facts

  • Company founded

    June 2013
  • Leadership

    Filippo Yacob - CEO & Founder
    Valeria Leonardi - COO
    Ben Callicott - CPO
  • Headquarters

    London, UK
  • Kickstarter 2016

    $1.6 million. The most crowd-funded ed-tech invention in history
  • Investors & Advisors

    Randi Zuckerberg
    Massimo Banzi
    Benjamin Vedrenne-Cloquet
    Lotta Lindquist-Brosjo
  • Incubators and partners

    PCH International
    Highway1
    Emerge Education
    Arduino
  • Products

    Cubetto Playset
    $225 RRP
  • Awards

    Best of Best - Red Dot 2016
    Gold - Cannes Lions 2016
    Platinum - Junior Design 2016
    Finalist - FastCo. Awards 2016
    Gold - London Design Award 2016
    Forbes 30 under 30: Europe 2017


  • Countries sold to

    91

Founders Q&A

  • What is Primo Toys?

    Primo is the go-to brand for parents and educators who want to encourage young girls and boys to explore the digital world they live in. Our smart, screenless toys are powered by a hands-on coding language specifically designed for children in pre-literate years, providing fun learning experiences for curious little minds with big imaginations.

  • Who is Cubetto?

    Cubetto is a playful wooden robot that helps young children (3+) discover programming through storytelling, adventure and collaboration. It’s the first coding toy of its kind to work without a screen or digital interface, and lets children learn to code before they can read or write.

  • Why did you create Cubetto?

    In a digital world where more and more devices are becoming connected, coding skills have taken on a new significance. We believe coding should be introduced at the same time as reading, writing, or maths, so we created the Cubetto Playset to make computational thinking and programming logic truly accessible to children in preliterate years.

  • Who is Cubetto for?

    Cubetto is an educational toy for girls and boys aged 3+. Whether at school or at home, young children can use Cubetto to learn about coding. It’s their first step into the world of programming, and gives girls and boys the language and logic necessary to understand code later in life. Cubetto is also a classroom resource for educators. From those struggling with the computing syllabus, to those who are simply looking for a more inspiring way to implement it, Cubetto is the perfect companion for the the new curriculum.

  • What are the benefits?

    The Cubetto Playset makes coding accessible to children in preliterate years, introducing core programming concepts like debugging, the queue, and recursions, and encouraging computational thinking: the process of breaking down tasks into a logical sequence of steps to reach an objective. By taking coding away from the screen, and using a hands-on, block-based programming language, Cubetto develops these skills and logic in a way specifically tailored for early learning.

  • How does Cubetto differ from competitors?

    Cubetto is the first coding toy designed specifically for children in preliterate years, powered by a unique block-based language which lets children learn about coding with their hands. Unlike any of our competitors, we pride ourselves in creating products that don’t require screens, and are tailor-made for the educational needs of pupils in early learning. What also sets us apart is the beautiful design of our products. Cubetto has already received nods of approval by members of the global design community, and has been showcased at the MoMA in New York.

  • Who are the founders?

    Our founders are Filippo Yacob (CEO) and Matteo Loglio (Head of Design). Filippo is a designer and entrepreneur. He is now following a dream inspired by the birth of his son. Matteo is an interaction designer, creative technologist, and visiting lecturer at Central Saint Martins.

  • Where is your customer base?

    Having sold to over 40+ countries, Cubetto is now used by more than 800 schools, nurseries and parents, and thousands of children worldwide. Programming in early learning is global issue, and by making our playset language and culture neutral, we’ve managed to find a solution for parents and educators all around the world.

  • Who are your customers?

    Among our high profile customers are the State of Maryland and the City of Chicago in the US, while the Cubetto Playset has also become part of a STEM suitcase project in Lyon, sponsored by the French Ministry of Education. It is used by EduCentrum on a similar program in Belgium where, like in the UK and US, Cubetto is used to help thousands of primary school educators learn how to teach coding in their classrooms.

  • How much does it cost?

    The Cubetto Playset costs $225, but is exclusively available on Kickstarter for $149. The basic pack includes the robot, board, blocks and map. We also have educational discounts for classroom packs of 4, 8 and 16 playsets.

  • What else can you do with Cubetto?

    Cubetto is a cross-curricular toy that helps with more than just coding. Educators use Cubetto as a creative way to inspire other subjects, such as science, geography and history. It also encourages collaboration and hands-on play, developing other important skills such as spatial awareness, teamwork and storytelling.

  • Can the blocks be used to program other things?

    Cubetto is built with open technologies, which means it is infinitely expandable. We left the product open-ended, as the hands-on coding language and board can be used to control a virtually limitless number of connected devices, from smart lamps to drones. These are user cases we’ve not yet developed, but have suggested to people who want to push the boundaries of what this coding language can do. We are also in the process of designing new blocks for new commands and devices, which will expand the world of Cubetto further still.

  • Are you a toy or education company?

    We’re both: we make educational toys designed for both inside and outside the classroom. Cubetto is designed as much to inspire computing education, as it is to encourage open-ended play. We’re a deeply educational tool with the fun and accessibility of a toy, but there shouldn’t be a distinction at this age: learning time should be playtime too.

  • Why did you decide not to use a screen?

    We decided not to use a screen because we believe that young children learn best through hands-on play at this age. Screens were designed for adults, and are not necessarily suited for early learning. Existing programmable toys currently function as an extension of tablets and smartphones, and the coding therefore happens on the screen. We chose to instead create a tangible coding language that kids can actually touch, supporting the Montessori principle that young children learn best with their hands.

  • Will you ever use screens?

    Of course! We’re not against using screens, and we accept that children will eventually have to make the transition to screen-based tools later on in their development. We also have an app that allows children to make music with the blocks that is currently in development, but we wanted to provide the foundation for the rest of their computing education, and introduce them to what they should be learning, the way they should be learning it first.

  • What is innovative about Cubetto?

    Cubetto is powered by a hands-on coding language, which, unlike any other coding toy, allows young children to program with their hands instead of a screen. This innovative, block-based language plays like a toy, but is as powerful, scalable and flexible as any other procedural programming language.

  • Does Cubetto cater to special needs?

    Cubetto is also the only coding toy that can be used by sighted and non-sighted children alike. This means that not only can visually-impaired children learn and play with Cubetto, they can also do so in the same learning environment as sighted children.

  • Why should 3 year olds learn coding?

    At Primo, we believe that coding is a new literacy, and should therefore be prioritised from an early age. We think that children should be introduced to coding when they start learning how to read and write, and our smart-toys begin with the ABCs. It’s important children this young are exposed to basic principles of programming, even if they don’t necessarily learn how to code. Being introduced to the environment of programming, and the language of ‘algorithms’, ‘debugging’ and ‘functions’ helps give them the foundations necessary to proceed.

Verbatim

  • What I love most about Cubetto is that it will give girls and boys all over the world the opportunity to learn about the basic building blocks of coding, without being glued to a computer screen. As a mum, that's a dream.
    Randi Zuckerberg, Investor & CEO of Zuckerberg Media
  • It invites children to explore programming in a developmentally appropriate experience that is challenging and exciting.
    Brian Puerling, Director of Education Technology at Catherine Cook School
  • To see the children totally absorbed, and intrinsically motivated whilst manipulating Cubetto was a very special Montessori moment indeed!
    Melissa Stockdale, Montessori school owner and director
  • It enables open-ended play and allows you to create your own different narratives around the same toy.
    Massimo Banzi, Arduino CEO
  • Cubetto is the perfect first step in a child’s coding education. Once pupils have mastered basic skills with Cubetto, they have a great platform from which to advance.
    Susan Wells, Founder of Camp Tech Terra
  • A highly accessible introduction to programming. Easy to get started and offers challenge and complexity at many levels.
    John Galloway, ICT and Inclusion Educational Specialist at Cyril Jackson School
  • The design of the playset is simple and open-ended enough to provide a starting point for pupils’ own creativity and invention.
    Ann Gadzikowski, Early Childhood Coordinator at Northwestern University
  • A boy aged 4 years with limited speech and possible autism engaged with Cubetto straight away. He celebrated his success with cheers and clapping.
    Louise King, Principal at Foxglove Montessori Nursery
  • Play quickly moved from making programs with the blocks, to dancing, jumping and moving with the robot, which you don’t get with onscreen tools.
    Ruth Woodward, ICT teacher at Orchard Primary School
  • An excellent teaching and learning resource which gets the students engaged and excited about programming.
    Martine Mannion, ICT & Digital Learning Coordinator at Wellingborough School
  • I used Cubetto with our 1st grade class for Hour of Code. They LOVED it!
    Maer Ben-Yisrael, Director of Technology at Presidio Hill School
  • The reaction from the pupils was wonderful! Our class included children with different types of special needs, so they responded to Cubetto in different ways.
    Hilary Norton, Advisory Teacher for ICT, SEN & Inclusion at London Borough of Tower Hamlets
  • The children were completely engaged, grasping new concepts, and extremely happy!
    Loretta Hopper, Teacher at Autism Population

In the news