Greylock Partners lead $6.5M Series A round for If You Can Company

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Feb 26, 2014 09:04 AM EST

If You Can Company secured $6.5 million for its Series A funding round, TechCrunch reported.

Greylock Partners led the round for the new startup that seeks to teach social and emotional learning or SEL skills to kids through a game. Almaz Capital also joined in the round. The most recent proceeds brought to $9.3 million in funds raised to date. It bagged $2.8 million in a previous round participated in by Andreessen Horowitz, Founder's Fund, Maveron and others. As part of the latest funding round, David Sze, a Greylock Partner joined If You Can Company's Board of Directors, the report said.

The startup is the brainchild of Trip Hawkins, the founder of EA. Hawkins told TechCrunch that when he was brainstorming through the development of an educational game, he found that a huge gap needs to be filled in a game that seeks to provide children with social and emotional learning skills. Research around the discipline of Social and Emotional Learning proves that this can be taught and the skills developed which will help students in their academics while turning them into happier and healthier individuals. Hawkins added that some schools have developed a curriculum on SEL and he began to mull ways of including this into the game, the report said.

Hawkins buried his head in research and looked not only at academic publications but on SEL programs developed by schools like the State of Illinois and The Nueva School so he could get the content and objectives. Hawkins then came up with a game called "IF..." which integrated the SEL curriculum, Through this chapter-based adventure game, kids learn how to handle difficult emotions, persist through difficulties and arrive at sound decisions. They also learn to empathize and be compassionate, the report said.

Children ages 7 to 11 years old can play the game-currently available only for iPad- but parents will have the chance to monitor their kid's achievements in the app, the report said.

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