Virginie Charles-Dear: toucanBox

The craft box subscription service that has delivered more than one million boxes to kids across the UK

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Virginie Charles-Dear, 35
Company: toucanBox

Watching children’s TV with her then four-year-old daughter, former Yahoo! executive Virginie Charles-Dear realised families rarely saved the ’24 ice lolly sticks’ or other ‘everyday objects’ required to create the featured DIY projects.

Her solution was Startups 100-listed toucanBox, the flexible craft box subscription service for children, containing all the materials and instructions they need for a variety of activities and DIY projects. Developed by educational experts and aimed at kids aged three to eight, the boxes come in three sizes – ‘petite’, ‘grande’ and ‘super’ – offering children the chance to organise their own treasure hunts, paint, create finger puppets or make a bird feeder. Less than two years after launch, toucanBox attracted a six-figure investment from the Innocent Drinks co-founders’ JamJar Investments and recently secured an additional £3.2m from the BGF Ventures, the tech-focused subsidiary of the Business Growth Fund. The funding will fuel UK and international expansion, as well as the chance to introduce a range of new products.

Currently growing at a rate of 20% month-on-month, the company has delivered more than one million boxes to date and is expecting to launch into Germany, France, Italy and Spain within the coming months. In an age of increasingly digitised entertainment, toucanBox acts as a refreshing alternative and has built a reputation with parents that could see it generate revenues of £15m in 2017.

Image ©Peter Searle.

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