LaunchPad Toys makes a handful of popular mobile apps for children including an augmented reality app called TeleStory and an animation storytelling tool called Toontastic.
The San Francisco-based startup was founded in 2010 and took part in Y-Combinator in 2011. It is backed by high-profile investors including Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.
A Google spokesperson confirmed the deal to Mashable but declined to give further details.
While it remains to be seen what exactly the search giant has in mind for the acquisition, the deal appears to be part of the company’s bid to entice a much younger crowd with more kid-friendly products.
Google has said previously that it is working toward children’s versions of its biggest products, including a standalone YouTube site designed for audiences under 12 years old. A Google executive told USA Today in December that its products are already widely used by kids, but there is a need for more advanced filtering and privacy controls.
The move is also in line with other tech companies’ recent efforts to cater services to young children. Last week, Vine introduced a stripped-down version of its six-second video platform called Vine for Kids which curates a stream of age-appropriate content.
In June of last year, Apple rolled out a Family Sharing feature that allows parents to more easily control what their kids buy from iTunes after the company repeatedly came under fire for children making app store purchases without permission.
Google is already known for its efforts to introduce kids to science and technology including an annual science fair, a summer camp and a designated area at its Mountain View, California headquarters called a “Kids Studio” where employees’ children can go to test early stage products. Google’s Chromebooks have also become an increasingly popular choice for schools supplying students with technology.