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The STEAM toy market is set to welcome a new larger player after robotics and educational company Sphero announced it has acquired LittleBits. 

The deal sees Sphero become a larger player in the STEAM market with a comprehensive offering of hardware, software, curriculum and training.

With the addition of LittleBits, Sphero now has a portfolio of 140 patents across robotics, electronics, software and the Internet of Things. 

With a similar mission to innovate and create new learning tools that focus on STEAM and play, through nine years of operation, Sphero and LittleBits have reached over six million students and 65,000 teachers across 35,000 schools globally and have sold more than $500 million in Sphero robots and LittleBits kits.

Sphero CEO Paul Berberian said that the businesses share a similar mission. 

"Sphero and LittleBits are on a mission to make hands-on learning fun and memorable.

"Together, we’re able to make an even greater impact by delivering the best possible solution — whether it is programming a robot to solve a maze or building an electronic music synthesizer.

"There are infinite learning possibilities and they’re all fun," he said. 

LittleBits founder Ayah Bdeir said that the joining of the two companies will see more children learning complex subjects through play. 

"When I studied engineering, it was top down, test-based. I hated it and wanted to quit every semester.

"Then I got exposed to the pedagogy of learning through play and my life changed; no one could peel me away from learning, inventing, creating.

"Together, LittleBits and Sphero are now bringing this experience to kids everywhere," she said. 

With this expanded company, Sphero plans to accelerate international growth and acquire other products and companies to further expand its portfolio of STEAM products and tools.

Sphero CEO Paul Berberian will serve as CEO of the new company while LittleBits founder Ayah Bdeir will depart the business. 

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