KIDTECH COMPANY SUPERAWESOME has unveiled a new video streaming platform aimed at children between the ages of seven and 12.
The company, which was founded by Irish entrepreneur Dylan Collins and develops tools to make the internet safer for children, unveiled the video platform at the RISE tech conference in Hong Kong last week.
How children can be protected from inappropriate content online has been a major issue in tech over recent years.
SuperAwesome’s new product, called Rukkaz, will allow content creators to publish their videos online while providing safe community functionalities that allow content creators to engage with a younger audience.
“The challenge is that most of the major technology companies haven’t invested in platforms specifically for children and they haven’t invested in making their general audience platforms safe for children,” Collins said.
Collins, who previously founded successful Irish gaming companies including DemonWare, set up SuperAwesome in London in 2012.
The company has been working with some of the biggest names in the children’s media market to develop kid-friendly technology. It raised around $21 million funding from Mayfair Equity Partners in 2017 and topped that up earlier this year with a $13 million debt from Harbert European Growth Capital.
Children and the internet
Speaking to Fora, Collins said no one has yet built a video platform specifically designed for the seven to 12-year-old audience, with YouTube Kids aimed at the preschool age.
According to Collins there are 170,000 children who venture online for the first time every day around the world and these children under the age of 13 made up around 40% of all new internet users last year.
Rukkaz has already secured $10 million in advertising from SuperAwesome’s customers who use its other tools. The platform will be rolled out to a number of countries in the coming months – including Ireland.
Collins said there is a huge demand from some of the large advertising brands to have a platform where they can responsibly engage with kids.
“That is one of the reasons why you are seeing kids advertising spill onto adult platforms or inappropriate places, because there haven’t been enough of these kids platforms created,” he said.
Rukkaz will allow children to leave comments and have conversations with content creators – which will be run through the company’s moderation technology and team.
With regards to content discovery, Collins said the company is using a “human editorial approach” with staff monitoring the company’s algorithm and making decisions on what should and should not be suggested.
Rather than use “algorithms to replace humans, we think that algorithms need human supervision”, he said.