Is Zui the new Google for kids? That’s certainly what San Diego-based startup Kidzui is hoping for with its brand-new search engine designed for kids ages three and up.
Expanding upon Kidzui’s downloadable browser for kids that launched in 2006, Zui.com features a visual user interface that delivers a graphic collage of kid-friendly websites, YouTube videos, games, images and suggested related search terms to its young users, with all content powered by the engine’s library of more than five million parent and teacher approved sites.
Zui acts as a filter that delivers more than 9,000 kid-friendly topics available online through any web-based browser as well as Apple or Android mobile devices. And the free-to-use product is supported by sponsorship and ads.
Perhaps what sets Zui apart from other kid-friendly search engines is its additional ability to tap into the Facebook’s social graph, allowing parents on the world’s largest social network to engage with their kids’ online interests. Kids using Zui can share their favorite videos, games and write text to their parents using this Facebook-compatible functionality.
In light of Zui.com’s launch, KidZui has raised an additional US$2 million dollars of equity. Backers include Mission Ventures, Maveron and Emergence Capital. Other previous investors include children’s book publisher and educational technology proponent Scholastic Corporation.