Bangalore: Fluid ventures, direct-to-consumer focused Venture Capital Fund backs Shumee Toys, a Bangalore-based toy brand that makes sustainable and development-friendly wooden toys and games for ages 0 to 7 using natural materials and non-toxic colours.
Founded by Harvard and IIT Delhi alumna Meeta Sharma Gupta in 2016, Shumee has sold over 200,000 toys both in India and internationally through its website and Amazon.
"Due to the lockdown and an increase in import duty on toys, the domestic toy market has seen a tremendous surge of more than 25% in demand for toys, and the Shumee team has been on the frontline to cater to that demand with product innovation and robust automation," says Amit Singal, General Partner, Fluid Ventures.
Every Shumee toy is designed by in-house creators from India's top design schools, including NID and NIFT, and handcrafted by local artisan partners to develop the cognitive, social/emotional, communicative, and physical development of children in their most formative years. They specialise in open-ended play that encourages children to develop creativity, problem-solving, and sensory skills in an unfettered, joyful environment.
"Children learn through play; learning should not be forced on them. We have over 100 toys and games at Shumee and none of them is "educational" in the typical sense. They encourage open-ended play led by the child’s own imagination and will." says Meeta Sharma Gupta. "As the child plays, they hone age-appropriate skills, including fine and gross motor and sensory skills in the early months, and problem-solving, creativity, and communication later."
"Sustainable products are the dire need of the hour, Shumee has successfully built a sustainable toys brand with innovative, child-safe products that also keep children away from screens," says Dhianu Das, General Partner, Fluid Ventures.
With the current capital in hand, Shumee plans to expand its product line and build a parent community with a focus on building a premium wooden toy brand globally.