Our new investment round: building the digital kids market

I’ve been laying, waiting for your next mistake/I put in work, and watch my status escalate
― Gang Starr – Work

Although there’s been some very flattering media coverage about it, we haven’t actually said much publicly about our recent investment round.

We set up SuperAwesome a little over two years ago to build a global digital marketing platform for the kids market (although about a third of our initial meetings were because people just thought our name was cool). There were two trends which we were racing ahead of;

  1. TV advertising dominates the kids market but that’s going to change as kids viewing habits shift to digital screens. This will see billions of dollars shift from one media to the other.
  2. Data privacy legislation for kids is going to increase and establish very specific rules for dealing with the under-13 market. New platforms will be needed to make the digital ad market (and the internet in general) work with these.

Building companies ahead of where the market is going is always hard, no matter what people tell you. However, flash to today;

  • The major kids media companies are having their share prices hammered as TV viewing declines accelerate and continue to hit their revenue performance. Nickelodeon’s TV audience was down 34% in Q115 alone.
  • The EU remains on track to introduce their kids data privacy legislation in 2016, mirroring the US (COPPA). Meanwhile the US is also considering extending these same protections up to 15yr olds (from 13) in the proposed Do Not Track Kids Act.

The impact of these trends is clearly being felt and have been the twin engines that have helped us become the number one kids marketing platform in the world. A few stats to back up that claim;

  • We reach over 220M kids every month across mobile, desktop web, virtual world and online video in five continents. No other media company in the world has this audience.
  • Almost every major agency and the majority of brands use our AwesomeAds platform to deploy 100% kid-safe, COPPA-compliant kids ad campaigns. On top of this, many are going through our KidAware certification to help build additional knowledge internally.
  • This year AwesomeAds will drive tens of millions of dollars in kid-safe advertising. We’re on-track to reach at least $100M within eighteen months.
  • Our Kids Web Services platform, a set of tools (including a dedicated parent portal) for kids content creators, is now powering global brands like Alex Rider and My Little Pony Friendship Club.
  • We’re now over 50 people with offices in New York, London, Bangkok and Sydney. Last year about 20% of our business was in the US. This year it will be over 50% (Btw, we’re also hiring in LA if you’d like to join the adventure).

From day one, our mission has always been to ensure the digital kids market could function safely and effectively. As part of this, we’ve built a non-trivial amount of kid-safe internet infrastructure (ad platform, developer platform, parent portal) to handle requirements of the ever-evolving laws. At this point our engineering team is part developer, part lawyer.

So why did we raise this investment round? Because we’re just getting started.

We now have the balance sheet to do more, faster. This year we’ll actually increase the size of the digital kids market by several percentage points. Next year, it’ll be a multiple of that.

So if you’re a brand, agency or content owner operating in the kids space, come and say hi. We can help.

If you’re someone looking for an opportunity with a company that’s genuinely reshaping an industry, we’d love to have a chat as well.

Welcome to our new investors. Hold on tight 🙂

(Btw, if you’d like more info on the kids market, our monthly kids trends reports are essential reading)

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