Fluid ventures, Direct to Consumer focussed Venture Capital Fund, on Friday said that it has invested an undisclosed amount in Shumee Toys. The Bengaluru-based toy brand 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 own website and Amazon. The start-up said it plans to use the funds to expand its product line and build a parent community with a focus on building a premium wooden toys brand globally.

“Due to the lockdown and an increase in import duty on toys, domestic toys market has seen a tremendous surge of more than 25 per cent 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.

The toys are designed by in-house creators from top design schools and handcrafted by local artisan partners with an aim to develop cognitive, social/emotional, communicative and physical development of children in the 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 own imagination and will.” said 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.”