Sphero has acquired its fellow education technology company, littleBits.
Over the past nine years, the two companies have created entirely new categories of hands-on learning tools that enable invention and STEAM education through play and technology. Combined, they have reached more than six million students and 65,000 teachers across 35,000 schools globally—and have sold more than $500 million in Sphero robots and littleBits kits.
Through this acquisition, Sphero becomes the largest player in its market. With a comprehensive offering of hardware, software, curriculum, and training, it is positioned to shape the $150 billion education technology industry.
Sphero, with the addition of the littleBits line, will now feature a portfolio of more than 140 patents in robotics, electronics, software, and the Internet of Things. Teachers will have access to hundreds of thousands of community-generated inventions and activities, and more than a thousand lessons tied to NGSS, CSTA and Common Core standards. Sphero and littleBits will also rally their networks of distinguished educators around the world that they’ve cultivated through their ambassador programs – with more than 67 Sphero Heroes and 50 littleBits Bitstar Educators.
“Sphero and littleBits are on a mission to make hands-on learning fun and memorable,” said Paul Berberian, Sphero’s CEO. “Together, we’re able to make an even greater impact by delivering the best possible solution — whether it is programming a robot to solve a maze or building an electronic music synthesizer. There are infinite learning possibilities — and they’re all fun.”
“When I studied engineering, it was top down, test-based,” said Ayah Bdeir, founder of littleBits. “I hated it and wanted to quit every semester. Then I got exposed to the pedagogy of learning through play and my life changed; no one could peel me away from learning, inventing, creating. Together, littleBits and Sphero are now bringing this experience to kids everywhere.”
With this deal, Sphero plans to accelerate international growth and acquire other products and companies to further expand its portfolio of STEAM products and tools. The company will have offices in Boulder, New York, and Hong Kong with Paul Berberian as CEO. Ayah Bdeir will be moving on from littleBits to pursue her next adventure.
“For the past 8 years, littleBits has been everything for me,” said Bdeir. “What I think about day and night. What I dream about and talk about. But…I’ve decided it’s time for me to focus on what’s next for me in this world and I will not continue on the littleBits journey day to day. I remain as passionate as ever about democratizing technology, about STEAM, and about eradicating the gap of girls in STEM. I will forever be littleBits’ biggest supporter and champion.”