"Netflix of kid's books" startup snags seed money

Sproutkins aims to hook busy parents who don't have the time to search for quality children's books at the library.
Written by Kirsten Korosec, Contributor

The nightly ritual of reading books to young children has produced a supply problem for parents. In the past, parents turned to the library to help meet the demand for a constant supply of new books.

Today, a number of subscription-based services have popped up to make it easier for parents to find quality books for their kids. The latest startup to join the "Netflix of children's books" genre is Sproutkin, a company founded by Raelyn Bleharski, a mom and a former lawyer.

Sproutkin, which launched its rental service for children's books last year, recently raised an undisclosed amount of seed money from investors, including 500 Startups and the TechFellow Fund, reported TechCrunch.

Sproutkin is a monthly subscription service designed for young children, specifically from birth through age six, according to the company's website. The box of books--up to 10--is tailored to the child's age and the developmental milestones that should be accomplished during that month. A curriculum card is included in each box with discussion questions and activity suggestions.

The system operates similarly to Netflix with an added step. Like Netflix, shipping is free. However, Sproutkin users will have to drop their box of books (prepaid postage label included) at their nearest post office.

The subscription service is $25 a month and how many "Sproutkits" a user receives depends on how quickly they read and return the books.

Libraries are, of course, free. But Sproutkins, like its competitor Bookpig, aims to fill the demand of busy working parents who don't have the time to regularly visit the library and search through an entire children's section for its highest quality books.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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