Bell2Bell Podcast Featuring Elnaz Sarraf, Founder & CEO of ROYBI
Bell2Bell’s latest podcast features Elnaz Sarraf, Founder & CEO of ROYBI, the creator of children’s intelligent educational robots and digital content.
To begin the interview, Sarraf discussed her motivation for founding ROYBI.
“Before ROYBI, I spent 5-6 years with my first company, iBaby, which had baby monitors. I spent a lot of time with parents, getting to know their needs and pain points,” Sarraf said. “Education has always been something that would come up. They were even asking about educational lullabies for babies. From that point, I developed a huge passion for technology and education. So, I decided to start my new journey by founding a technology company that implements educational content.
“Long story short, we did a lot of research in the market beginning in 2017. Finally, we came up with the idea for ROYBI Robot, an educational robot for kids ages 3-7. We focus on language learning, vocabulary acquisition and communication skills. We started the company in 2019, and we are now available in major retail stores. We also have some pilot programs with schools. I would say ROYBI really started as a passion, and we are also really focused on the impact of our work on children’s lives.”
Sarraf then examined some of the key challenges presented in developing ROYBI and provided insight into how the company overcame them.
“When you found a startup company, you face different kinds of challenges every day. We went into manufacturing at the end of 2019, and, by the time we launched the product in 2020, we hit the pandemic. Everything with the supply chain and manufacturing went crazy and caused so many other issues,” Sarraf explained. “Aside from that, in the beginning, fundraising was the biggest challenge. ROYBI Robot is a complicated product. It has voice-recognition technology, a hardware component and many other things that made it difficult to convince investors that this product is needed. We finally built a semi-functional prototype to show investors. This helped us raise $4.2 million in our seed round in 2019.”
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