Who We Are

The early idea for our company came one night when we were reading a book to our 2-year-old son and soon-to-be big brother.

Felix Llyod and Jordan Llyod Bookey co-founders of Zoobean
Masthead Waves
He pointed to biracial characters on the page that actually looked like him and said, “That's me, and that's little sister.”
The power of reading was so clear. We immediately decided to put our backgrounds in education to work on a new business idea.

From Reading Recommendations

We started a book-of-the-month business focusing on non-traditional genres and interests, and quickly found many supportive and enthusiastic backers—including Mark Cuban after a “Shark Tank” appearance. Not long after, however, we realized we needed to reimagine our business model to be truly successful and reach more readers.

Felix Lloyd and Jordan Llyod Bookey on Shark Tank in 2014

Our 2014 "Shark Tank" appearance. Felix Brandon Lloyd, left, was named Washington, D.C.'s Teacher of the Year. Jordan Lloyd Bookey, right, spent years as Google's Head of K-12 Education Outreach.

To Reading Challenges

At the time, our most trusted curators were children's and school librarians. Working together, we adapted our new technology, called Beanstack, to curate children's books and deliver personalized recommendations to community members. Later, a partner library used Beanstack as a platform for an innovative summer reading challenge. Through these new ideas, our purpose became clear again—to empower libraries and schools to build a culture of reading through reading challenges and motivation tools for readers of all ages.

Today at Beanstack

  • 2,500+

    Library Systems
  • 6,000+

    School Buildings
  • 180

    School Districts
  • 13.8M+


What We Do

The product featured on “Shark Tank” is very different from what we offer today. But our mission, purpose, and goals remain the same. We help educators and librarians encourage reading by making it easy to create and promote reading challenges for their communities. We motivate people to reach reading goals by tracking when, how much, and what they read. We've built several tools to do this:

  • Customizable reading challenge platform:

    Enterprise-level software for libraries and schools.

  • Our 4.7-star mobile app:

    A mobile app for partner schools and libraries that can also be used independently by families.

  • Easy-to-use reading challenge templates:

    Ready-made reading challenges that promote great books, activities, and more.

  • Diverse book recommendations:

    The foundational personalized recommendation system that remains part of our secret sauce.

Beanstack reading challenge list of templates and reader stats

What We're All About

Reading is our passion. Offering technology that motivates people to read is our focus. But looking even deeper, our three core values are at the “heart” of all we do.

  • Love

    We're passionate about the work we do and always give everything we can.

  • Inclusion

    We believe diversity breeds innovation and makes us closer, stronger, and better.

  • Awesomeness

    We build and serve toward excellence. We overdeliver on expectations.

What’s Next?

We know that actionable data and insights to support student free-choice reading are absolutely necessary when talking about student reading growth. We’re exploring features that foster students’ love of reading while providing librarians, teachers, and staff with much-needed data to understand and support students comprehensively.

Where We're Going

Over the years, we focused intently on making Beanstack the single best tool for facilitating reading challenges, primarily for libraries and schools. We're proud of the work we've done, the products we've developed, the team we've assembled, and the company we've grown. But most of all, we're proud of the libraries and schools that help so many people keep reading. We're doing this for them. And we're excited to show you what's next.

Beanstack clients attending PLA 2022 eating custom Voodoo doughnuts