Jan 27, 2020 - Technology

SuperAwesome raises $17 million round led by Microsoft's M12 Ventures

SuperAwesome CEO and founder Dylan Collins. Photo: SuperAwesome

SuperAwesome, a platform used to power kid-safe technology, has raised $17 million in a strategic financing round led by M12, Microsoft's venture fund.

Why it matters: It represents a growing investment in kid-safe content and kids privacy compliant technology. Microsoft is one of the first major U.S. tech firms to take a stake in a kids tech company.

Be smart: The raise is more of a strategic strengthening of ties between SuperAwesome and Microsoft than it is a financial lifeline.

  • According to CEO Dylan Collins, SuperAwesome was profitable in 2019. "Our revenues are growing pretty quickly," he told Axios. "We're currently at a $75 million run-rate."
  • To date, SuperAwesome has raised a total of $37 million. The company now powers over 12 billion kids digital transactions every month.

Investments in kid-safe content and tech are growing. On Monday, Encantos, a children's entertainment brand, closed a $2 million seed round led by Kapor Capital with participation from Boston Meridian Partners, Chingona Ventures, Human Ventures, and MathCapital. 

  • In a statement, the company says that it will use the funds for "subscription services that deliver engaging educational digital experiences and physical hands-on craft activities for pre-school and primary school age children."

The big picture: Countries around the world are doubling down on digital privacy and safety for children, which is a huge part of what's making investments in kid-friendly and kid privacy-safe content and tech attractive to big companies.

  • In the U.S., The Federal Trade Commission struck a record $170 million settlement with Google over kids' privacy violations on YouTube last year. The settlement settlement represents an expansion of COPPA enforcement in the U.S.
  • Other countries and regions, like the EU, China, India and Brazil are also cracking down on children's privacy with new laws and enforcement mechanisms.
  • The streaming wars have also spurred a kids content arms race, which has driven up investment in kids content.

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