San Francisco-based Fingerprint Digital, a startup building educational apps for kids as well as a parent-child communication system for iOS apps, is doubling the size of its network today with the addition of a series of six new apps from French developer Happy Blue Fish Studio. The developer has chosen Fingerprint’s in-app “Mom-Comm” system (as the company calls it) to enhance its “The Deskplorers” story-telling apps designed for ages 6 through 9. The newly added apps are focused on reading comprehension, problem solving, and foreign languages, while also taking kids through adventures in history.
Fingerprint, in case you’re not up on the “what’s hot with kids” front, is a young startup which first introduced its educational-focused apps into the iTunes App Store on December 1st of last year. A few weeks later, Fingerprint was reporting having seen over 270,000 game-playing sessions for a total of over 2 million minutes played.
Today, the company is reporting they’re up to 14 million minutes of play time, and the average session time has climbed up to 9 minutes. Fingerprint says the most popular time of time for gaming is between 7 AM and 9 AM then after school (4 PM to 6 PM), but the most popular days to play are Saturday and Sunday.
The kids seems to have their favorite apps from Fingerprint’s collection, which includes self-developed titles like Big Kid Life Fairy Princess, Big Kid Life Veterinarian, Big Kid Life Fire Fighter (the most popular), Play Maker, and Whole Wide World. 40% of kids playing Fingeprint apps have played one of the apps more than 25 times in their first 4 weeks.
For what it’s worth, my kid launches that princess app almost daily. (Don’t worry, despite the name, it’s not teaching her how to wait for some random dude to kiss her to make her life complete.)
The apps, however, aren’t the most interesting thing Fingerprint is developing – it’s the built-in sharing platform (available to select third parties via an SDK) that is. This system allows kids to share their in-game progress with parents, and the adults get a news feed detailing their child’s activity. They can then leave supportive messages via audio and text for their children to receive in the game.
With the newly added Deskplorers series, Fingerprint’s small collection of apps will double in size with half a dozen new apps introducing kids to knights, pirates, Egyptians, cavemen, and more. Dominique Busso, founder and CEO of Happy Blue Fish Studio, the maker of the apps, says the company was in search of a partner that could help intro the apps to the U.S. market, and selected Fingerprint because its mission aligned with their own: “to bring happiness and learning through gameplay to kids worldwide.”
Fingerprint is backed by a solid team. The company was founded by Nancy MacIntyre, formerly the EVP of Products and Marketing at LeapFrog, and Brad Edelman who co-founded social gaming company PlayFirst. It also has Heather Regan, the former COO of Everloop, as VP of Product Management and Learning, and former game marketing lead at 2K Games (a division of Take Two Interactive) Phil Shpilberg as its VP of Marketing. The company has $1.4 million in venture funding.