Saturday 22 October 2016

Irish tech entrepreneur's kids ad platform bags $7m funding as lucrative market grows

Published 06/08/2015 | 02:30

Dylan Collins’s platform claims a reach of 250 million children
Dylan Collins’s platform claims a reach of 250 million children

A 'kid safe' digital marketing service founded by Irish serial entrepreneur Dylan Collins has closed a $7m (€6.4m) funding round as it seeks to expand.

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The company, SuperAwesome, has developed an advertising platform that claims a reach of 250 million children worldwide through partners with multiple online networks. It counts Hasbro, mattel and Lego among the brands it works with.

The technology behind it does not target kids' behaviour or track their activity, a facet that is allowing it to grow in an increasingly regulated environment. It comes as some of the world's biggest online networks look to open up the advertising market for children, with Google's YouTube, Amazon and Sky all introducing new initiatives to tap into the market.

Financiers in the Series A round include London based investors IBIS TMT, Twenty Ten Capital and Sandbox and Company. Existing investors, including the London-based venture capital firm Hoxton Ventures, of which Mr Collins is a partner, also participated in the funding round.

Mr Collins said that the company will use the money to expand more quickly, particularly in the US and Southeast Asian markets. He said that the company was on track to quadruple its growth in 2015 and that it expected to see revenues of $100m "over the next couple of years".

"When we started SuperAwesome, the objective was always to become the global digital kids marketing platform," Mr Collins said. "Nobody has done this. Most of the major media companies are concentrated in one or two territories. So the faster we build out this global kid-safe infrastructure to connect brands with content, the larger we grow this market."

Mr Collins was a co-founder of the gaming company DemonWare, sold to industry giant Activision in 2007. He also founded Jolt Online, a social gaming network sold to GameStop in 2009.

"We are starting to put the tools in place for this market," he added. "You haven't seen the money from venture capitalists going to kids' ad platforms and tools. But once you do, you are going to see the ad dollars really start to flow."

Dylan Collins' Another Angle column, p6

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