Lego Ventures and Sesame Workshop helped the children’s reading app developer close a series C round that will fund curricula development and international expansion.

Homer, the pre-school learning-focused subsidiary of US-based education technology developer Begin, has closed a $50m series C round featuring investors including toymaker Lego and children’s programming producer Sesame Workshop.

Fenghuang Holdings, the main investor in children’s education and entertainment provider Gymboree Play & Music, also took part in the round, alongside 3One4 Capital, Interlock Partners and Trustbridge Partners.

In addition, Liquidity Capital agreed to supply $25m of trajectory-based financing to accelerate the company’s growth. Lego invested through its Lego Ventures subsidiary.

Founded in 2008, Homer runs early childhood education schemes aimed at children aged between two and eight. Its core product is a literacy app that helps children learn to read.

The company will use the cash to release additional online and in-person products covering mathematics, creativity, socio-emotional learning and critical thinking skills. It will work with Sesame Workshop to develop additional curricula and Gymboree Play & Music will help it expand to other countries.

Homer had raised a total of $3.4m when it was acquired by Begin in 2017, $2.2m of which was supplied by Great Oaks Venture Capital and angel investors Paul Francis, Tom Glocer, Rob Soni and Matt Turck four years earlier, according to EdSurge.

Jamie Beaumont, managing partner for Lego Ventures, said: “Homer’s vision and approach to playful learning foster curiosity and collaboration in children that aligns closely with Lego Ventures’ investment ethos supporting founders and companies in bringing the Lego idea of learning-through-play to life.”