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Scoop: Zigazoo debuts kid-safe NFTs from Moonbug and Serena Williams

Illustration of a fridge covered in fridge magnet letters spelling out "ka-ching"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Zigazoo, a kids-friendly social media company, is launching its first NFT marketplace, the company tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: NFTs are widely viewed as the next evolution of trading cards and collectibles — which are two things kids love to ask their parents for money to buy.

  • "I think kids oftentimes know more about this stuff than most adults do. And they're gonna jump right in this week," Zigazoo CEO Zak Ringelstein tells Axios. "They're going to start teaching their parents."

Details: Zigazoo's first NFT drops begin on Thursday with Nyla Hayes, a 13-year-old NFT artist known for her "Long Neckie Ladies" collection.

  • After Nyla, the next two NFT drops will come from Moonbug Entertainment — known for "CoComelon" and "Blippi" — and digital animation studio Invisible Universe.
  • Invisible Universe is best known for creating Qai Qai, a character based on Serena Williams' daughter's real-life doll. Williams is an investor in Zigazoo.
  • Prices will range from $5.99 to $49.99 for the NFT packs.
  • Each NFT is hosted on the Flow blockchain, and all purchases are behind a parental verification gate.

What they're saying: "NFTs was something that within the licensing industry has been very topical for the last six to eight months, and every day you read about a new NFT deal that has been put together by a different rights holder," said Simon Phillips, managing director of global consumer products for Moonbug. "The concepts of it being an NFT, I think, is more for the parents than it is for the age group that we are concerned with. I do think kids are very tech-savvy these days."

Catch up quick: Zigazoo launched in 2020 from two former elementary teachers, Zak and Leah Ringelstein, as a TikTok-esque app exclusively geared toward kids.

  • Last year, it raised $4 million in funding led by MaC Venture Capital, with additional investors that include Williams, Jimmy Kimmel and CEO Chris Williams.
  • Zigazoo has done content partnerships with the NBA, Peanuts, Netflix, Apple TV+ and Nickelodeon.
  • Zigazoo is part of the kidSAFE Seal Program, which is an independent safety certification service for child-friendly tech.

The big picture: More than just finding a new way for kids to trade collectibles, Zigazoo sees this as a way to educate children about Web3 in a kid-safe environment shielded from crypto scams.

  • Nyla is also joining Zigazoo as a community educator to help kids make their own NFTs.
  • "We understand that the future of the Internet is Web3. We would like to get ahead of what we did wrong with Web2, where a few huge Internet giants took over and kind of forced us to play by their rules," Ringelstein said.
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