When internet guru Gai Havkin sat down in front of the computer with his young daughter and realized she was completely dependent on him for a safe web-surfing experience, he got the idea to create a software solution. What he came up with is a kid-centric browser and web environment named Kido’z (pronounced ‘kiddos’).
Launched last May, Kido’z now boasts users in more than 80 countries and offers content in 30-plus languages. It employs a unique visual-based navigation on its web browser – clicking on an image of Mickey Mouse, for example, will take the user to disney.go.com – to fuel kid empowerment. And last November, the company secured a major distribution deal with manufacturer MSI Computers, which is set to preinstall Kido’z on a whopping six million computers over the next year.
So Havkin is moving forward with an aggressive plan to become the ultimate web browser/environment for kids ages three to seven. He’s kicking things off with the launch of a premium service package and the recruitment of former National Geographic Kids Entertainment president Donna Friedman Meir to build a more robust content offering. Stats gleaned from current usage data reveals that kids are spending 11 hours a month using the basic free-to-download software.
Kido’z Plus (US$15/month, US$30/six months, US$50/year) launched last November and offers parents full reports on their kids’ usage patterns, expanded security features and the option to limit daily usage. Havkin and chief of content and strategy Meir are currently looking to lock down some content, including high-end videos and games unavailable elsewhere for free for future premium packages using a revenue sharing model.
As for expanding distribution, the company is trying to crack the netbook market, and at press time, was securing deals similar to its MSI agreement. Havkin adds that making deals with internet service providers (i.e. Comcast) or other online portals, such as Yahoo!, to serve as their preschool solution is on the priority list.