Thursday 19 October 2017

Collins raises millions more for kid-friendly adtech

The startup SuperAwesome counts Disney, Lego, Clarks and The Cartoon Network among its customers (Stock picture)
The startup SuperAwesome counts Disney, Lego, Clarks and The Cartoon Network among its customers (Stock picture)
Adrian Weckler

Adrian Weckler

Serial Irish technology entrepreneur Dylan Collins is raising a funding round understood to be worth tens of millions of euro for his London-based SuperAwesome startup, an online advertising platform for children.

Sources close to the company said that the startup will exceed €10m in revenue for 2016 and has expectations of over €20m in revenue next year.

It now employs 100 people and has opened offices in New York, Bangkok and Sydney.

SuperAwesome provides technology that makes sure websites and apps engage in appropriate behaviour when marketing to children. It ensures that publishers and advertisers do not track children online or target their behaviour.

The company is taking advantage of a multi-billion-dollar shift in child-focused advertising away from television to digital formats. Its customers now include Lego, Disney, Clarks and The Cartoon Network.

Last week, US authorities fined a number of companies, including media giant Viacom and toy companies Mattel and Hasbro, for breaching underage advertising laws in America. The companies' websites were found to have software that tracked children under 13. In Europe, similar laws on advertising to children are about to be tightened.

Collins has a long list of successful tech startups behind him.

He sold the gaming startup Demonware to industry giant Activision in 2007. A social-gaming network he founded, Jolt Online, was sold to Gamestop in 2009.

The latest funding round is being advised by the Raine Group, which has worked on major corporate financing deals for companies such as Vice and UFC.

Sources close to the company believe that the industry opportunity is "huge" and "similar in scale to what Facebook and Google created".

"This is essentially creating an under-13 Internet and SuperAwesome's technology is the key infrastructure for its functionality," said a person familiar with the funding round.

"It is providing the tools for content owners and brands to stay compliant and keep kids safe online."

Last year, SuperAwesome raised €6.4m in a Series A funding round. Backers included London based investors IBIS TMT, Twenty Ten Capital and Sandbox. Other investors include the London-based venture capital firm Hoxton Ventures of which Collins is also a partner.

Collins previously said he expected the start-up to see revenues of over €100m "over the next couple of years".

Sunday Indo Business

Also in Business