The app, launched last month, helps primary school children develop their maths skills and has already attracted users from the UK, Romania, Turkey and Thailand.
Numbugs was developed by an RBS graduate team working with students from University College London’s computer science department for the Oxfordshire charity Reading Quest, as part of this year’s Pilotlight programme. It is currently only available free on Android but Windows and Apple’s iOS platform versions are expected this summer. The team is confident it will make money.
Graduate team member Rachel Short said: “We’ve had a great start with the app and a really positive review by whatmobile.com, who gave it four out of five stars.
“The final app was the product of 27 different versions and hundreds of hours of programming time but we’re all very proud of it. The app market is a busy one and quite fickle but children say they love playing it to help their maths skills. It’s had a good number of downloads already and we’re confident it will sell once it is launched on paid-for app stores for Windows and Apple.”
The Pilotlight programme, now in its third year, sees RBS graduate teams paired with charities to work on business challenges to help children and young people. It is one of a number of opportunities offered to graduates as part of their programme with RBS.
Numbugs was the result of a challenge by Reading Quest to help drive sustainable income in its bid to expand. Reading Quest director Jayne Lacny said: “We set the team one hell of a challenge with the app and we’re delighted with the result. It has something of the soul of our charity in it. It’s fast and furious but the children love it. What’s most impressive is just how well it allows the user to build their maths skills without noticing it.
“Its success could help us with our aim to expand into surrounding counties and into London, including our maths courses for teachers, run by our freelance consultants. We would also like to set up an internship position at Reading Quest as a valuable link between the graduates and future commercial partners to help us grow.”
Chief Information Officer International Banking Alastair Brown said: “This project has clearly demonstrated the massive impact RBS can have in the community. We extended the relationship with our long-time friends at UCL, providing a great coursework opportunity for undergraduates (who could one day join our graduate programme) to directly help Reading Quest realise a dream that was borne out of the first RBS Pilotlight scheme two years ago.
“We continue to support Reading Quest in a number of ways, from strategic planning through to benefiting from our Technology recycling programme, all helping to get children struggling with reading and numeracy back on track.”
More about the Pilotlight Programme
Article from May 2013: Maths app by RBS graduates wins "Apprentice" charity challenge