SuperAwesome, just less than five years old, has been tapping into the growing need for kid-friendly technology, including kid-safe advertising, social engagement tools, authentication and parental controls.
Its clients include some of the biggest names in the children’s market, including Activision, Hasbro, Mattel, Cartoon Network, Spin Master, Nintendo, Bandai, WB, Shopkins maker Moose Toys and hundreds of others — many of which it can’t name for legal reasons.
Now, the company is turning a profit.
SuperAwesome says it hit profitability for the first time in Q4 2017, and has reached a booked revenue run-rate of $28 million, after seeing 70 percent growth year-over-year.
This year, it expects to grow 100 percent, with a revenue run rate of $50 million.
Sources close to the company put its valuation at north of $100 million, as a result.
The company says the shift to digital is driving its growth, as TV viewing is dropping at 10 to 20 percent per year, while kids’ digital budgets are growing at 25 percent year over year. At the same time, the kids brands and content owners are realizing that safety and privacy have to be a part of their web and mobile experiences.
SuperAwesome has flown under the radar a bit, and isn’t what you’d call a household name. That’s because its technology isn’t generally consumer-facing — it’s what’s powering the apps and websites that today’s kids are using, whether that’s a game like Mattel’s Barbie Fashion Closet or Monster High, Hasbro’s My Little Pony Friendship Club or a website from kids’ author Roald Dahl, to name a few.
Key to all these experiences is a technology platform that allows developers to build kid-safe apps and sites. That includes products like AwesomeAds, which ensures ads in the kids space aren’t tracking personal data and the ads are kid-appropriate; PopJam, a kid-safe social engagement platform that lets developers build experiences where kids can like, comment, share and remix online content; and Kids Web Services, tools that simplify building apps that require parental consent and oversight.
These sorts of tools are increasingly becoming critical to a web that’s waking up to the fact that the largest tech companies didn’t consider how many kids would be using their products. YouTube, for example, has been scrambling in recent months to combat the threats to kids on its video-sharing site, like inappropriate content targeted toward children, exploitive videos, haywire algorithms, dangerous memes, hate speech and more.
Today, the company’s 120-person staff also includes a full-time moderation team to review content before it goes public. A need to do more hands-on review, instead of leaving everything up to an algorithm, is something the larger companies have just woken up to, as well. For example, YouTube said it was expanding its moderation team to about of 10,000 people in the wake of the site’s numerous controversies.
SuperAwesome has raised $28 million to date according to Crunchbase, including a $21 million Series B from Mayfair Equity Partners in mid-2017, which included Hoxton Ventures and Inspire Ventures. The company has no immediate plans to fundraise again.