One of France’s first KickStarter superstars, iskn, who raised $350,000 in September 2013 for Slate, an iPad cover & pen that converts your pen & paper drawings into digital ones, has raised its first venture round. The startup took in $2 Million from Partech Ventures (who also invest in Lima – another KickStarter star), Pascal Cagni (who was a seed investor in Nest), Kima Ventures (Xavier Niel, the fund’s sole LP, also invested alongside Cagni in Nest), & CEA Investments, a fund associated with the R&D lab CEA Leti, where the technology was first developed.
iskn’s flagship product, Slate, is a great alternative to the very popular Wacom tablets as well as the Adobe Ink & Slide, and the fact that the product works on pen & paper, and can even work without being connected to the iPad (it has its own battery and SD memory) should please people who love to sketch out ideas on the fly.
The company has an impressive set of backers; however, the smartphone/tablet accessory market is a tough bid. By & large, most users don’t want to switch between cases, so a case needs to not just be innovative, but aesthetically pleasing and useful even when not in use. In that respect, I think iskn has done a good job, offering an array of colors with a non-intrusive, simplistic design.