Fluid ventures, Direct to Consumer-focused Venture Capital Fund backs Shumee Toys. This Bangalore-based toy brand makes sustainable and development-friendly wooden toys and games for children aged 0 to 7 using natural materials and non-toxic colors.
Founded by Harvard and IIT Delhi alumna Meeta Sharma Gupta in 2016, Shumee has sold over 200,000 toys in India and internationally through its website and Amazon.
“Due to the lockdown and an increase in import duty on toys, domestic toys market has seen a tremendous surge of more than 25 percent in the demand of the toys and 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 the National School of Design (NID) and National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and handcrafted by local artisan partners to develop cognitive, social, emotional, communicative and physical development of children in their most formative years.
“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 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 early months, and problem-solving, creativity, and communication later,” added Meeta Sharma.
The company specializes in open-ended play that encourages children to develop creativity, problem-solving, and sensory skills in an unfettered, joyful environment.
“Sustainable products are the dire need of the hour, and 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 focusing on building a premium wooden toys brand globally.