Vilnius-based “Žaislų Klubas” lands €125K to Disrupt Toy Industry with ‘Play & Swap’ Model
Vilnius-based startup Žaislų Klubas, an innovative educational toy subscription service, has secured a €125,000 investment for the international expansion of its ‘play and swap’ model. This funding, led by the FIRSTPICK VC fund and a group of angel investors, is designed to propel the startup’s growth and enable the testing of its services in new markets.
The ‘play and swap’ model of Žaislų Klubas counters the current trend in the kids’ toy market, which is marked by short-lived and wasteful consumption. In a sector predominantly driven by purchases, educational toys are usually expensive and often last only six months. Žaislų Klubas offers a viable, sustainable alternative through its subscription service, where members receive new educational toys monthly for children from 5 months to 7 years old. This regular exchange ensures a constant provision of fresh and engaging educational content.
The investment was drawn to Žaislų Klubas due to its sustainability, educational impact, and a successful business model already in place in Lithuania. Andra Bagdonaitė, a partner at FIRSTPICK VC, states, “In a world gravitating towards sustainable products, Žaislų Klubas stands ready to redefine the traditional toy market. Our investment aims not just at enhancing business growth but also at instigating a substantial shift in the industry.”
Laurynas Pamparas, the founder and CEO of Žaislų Klubas underscores the growing awareness among Lithuanian consumers, which has significantly influenced the model’s success. He stresses the importance of offering sustainable and cost-effective alternatives to the norm of frequent toy purchasing. The ‘play and swap’ approach addresses this issue head-on, presenting a practical solution to the widespread problem of toy wastage.
Pamparas acknowledges the presence of similar models in the global market but points out that they often lack the personalization and sustainability that Žaislų Klubas offers. The company is now set to launch market tests in the United Kingdom under the brand name Liledu.
Vilnius-based Žaislų Klubas, established in 2021, emerged as an answer to a market saturated with disposable plastic toys. Drawing on Pamparas’ personal journey as a parent, the company offers durable, wooden Montessori toys through a ‘play and swap’ model, marking a notable departure from the industry’s usual practices.
Keep in mind – Vilnius is already preparing for one of the most important events of the year – the traditional Vilnius TechFusion Startup Awards. At the event organized for the fifth year in a row, awards await both growing high-tech companies and heroes of businesses, talents and ecosystems that have already gained recognition in Lithuania and the world.
Vilnius TechFusion startup awards will be held on January 11, 2024, this year they are organized by Vilnius city tourism and business development agency “Go Vilnius”, Lithuanian startup association “Unicorns Lithuania” and “Sunrise Tech Park”.