Startup of the Day: Readmio, Czech app with fairy tales for children

Readmio was founded by Jozef Šimko, Ilya Novodvorskiy, Radoslav Rajčan, Erik Nota in Prague. The startup develops an app full of stories and tales for children. In January 2023, it has raised €1 million for international expansion led by Zero Gravity Capital, with the participation of DEPO Ventures. Readmio are currently supporting languages including English, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, and Slovak, with Portuguese set to launch in December.

In the Startup of the Day column, the founding team of Readmio, share more details about the startup’s idea, its product, and future plans.

The Startup of the Day column on AIN.Capital is dedicated to tech projects from all sectors that originated from the CEE countries. If you would like to introduce your project, please fill in the questionnaire.

Tell us about your startup. How does it work?

In the world of Readmio, the initiation of storytime often varies – sometimes it’s the parent who suggests reading a story, and other times, it’s the children who are eager to dive into a new tale.

“Typically, it’s the child who takes the lead, choosing a story from the app. Then, the parent steps in as the storyteller. As they begin reading, Readmio enhances the narrative with a rich tapestry of sounds and music. This is an opportunity for screen-free time, focusing solely on the audio experience.”

Readmio naturally encourages parents to become more involved in the storytelling. The app is designed to inspire parents to add elements of voice modulation and even some facial expressions, bringing the stories to life. This not only makes the reading session more dynamic but also enriches the overall experience for the kids, making it a truly memorable listening and reading adventure.

How did you come up with the startup’s idea? What was the reason/motivation behind it?

“The creation of Readmio began with my previous venture: a B2B agency specializing in mobile app development. Leading a team of 150 until our acquisition, I cherished every moment of building that company. Post-acquisition, with four children at home who loved storytime, I was naturally drawn to the intersection of the mobile world and storytelling, leading to the birth of Readmio.”

Ilya Novodvorskiy, one of the co-founders commented.

How long did it take to reach the prototype or MVP? What did you encounter?

The development of the MVP took us 10 months. A significant portion of this time was dedicated to crafting our proprietary voice-recognition engine, which operates offline, ensuring complete privacy as it keeps all interactions within the confines of your child’s room. However, technology is just one facet of Readmio.

We poured our hearts into creating content, writing stories, designing illustrations, composing soundscapes, and developing our own content management system. For our Minimum Viable Product, we launched with nearly 100 original stories.

When exactly did you launch your product? Or when the launch is planned?

We launched the platform on the Children’s day — 1st of June 2020.

Tell us about the startup’s business model. How do you monetize your product?

Reamio’s business model is centered around a subscription service, offering various plans including monthly, yearly, and even a lifetime option. We frequently introduce special promotions, such as extended trials or half-year subscriptions.

What are your target markets and consumers?

Currently Readmio is supporting languages including English, German, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, and Slovak, with Portuguese set to launch in December. This year alone, we’ve expanded our linguistic repertoire by five languages, with a strategic focus on penetrating major markets in North America (US, Mexico) and Latin America (e.g. Brasil) next year, following our growth in Europe.

If the startup has already launched the product, what are the results: metrics, income, or any clear indicators that can be evaluated.

Our key performance indicator is the number of stories read on Readmio and the time spent in these engaging sessions. To date, our users have delved into over 4.2 million stories, dedicating nearly 20,416 man-days to reading with their children. Since 2020, our revenues have doubled each year.

What about your team? How many people are working in the startup? If you’re looking for new employees, indicate whom exactly?

Our team is small and compact. This small size fosters quick decision-making and a close-knit atmosphere. As we grow, we’re on the lookout for a marketing expert specializing in app growth.

Have you already raised any investments? Provide us with more details on each funding round: the amount, investors, the purpose of the investment.

Our funding journey began with an initial investment from ZAKA VC, followed by a second round from 0100 Ventures and DEPO Ventures, totaling €1.6 million. This funding has been instrumental in evolving Readmio from a free MVP to a subscription model and expanding our language offerings and geographical reach.

What’s next? Tell us about your future plans.

Looking ahead, we aim to quadruple our revenues by 2024, with ambitious plans to expand our product offerings and enter new markets. We’re also brewing some exciting new developments, with plans to unveil at least one new product in the first half of 2024.