Emerging UK-based children’s media specialist KidsKnowBest has secured nearly US$630,000 in funding from key investors to bolster its next phase of growth. It plans on using the money to facilitate new senior executive hires, kids app development and fund an upcoming research report that explores what kids are watching on Netflix.
Among investors backing the three-year-old company are Marriott International’s former European president Amy McPherson, Corniche Group chairman and executive producer Hani Farsi and LinkLaters partner Sarah Wiggins.
KidsKnowBest also hired ex-Dubit director Peter Robinson in May as its COO. Two more senior executive hires will be announced in the coming months. Additionally, the company has named its advisory board which includes Mind Candy’s ex-CCO Darran Garnham; Hasbro’s director of global technology acquisition Harry Botterill; and Ameet Publishing VP and former Disney and Penguin Books exec Eric Huang.
Co-founded by Rob Lough and Joel Silverman (pictured left to right), KidsKnowBest helps brands like Hasbro, Disney, MGA and Universal target and connect with kid audiences by providing digital marketing solutions (in-app and YouTube pre-roll videos), influencer connections, in-house scripted and reactionary video content, research and development and data reports.
According to Silverman, the company to date has signed 10 kid influencers. “We are looking at talent from TikTok, YouTube as well as Instagram,” says Silverman. “We’re helping create content for two TikTok influencers, Fleur Roberts and Melody Snook, who combined have more than 1.5 million followers for their audience of six-to seven-year-olds.”
The startup’s YouthTubers, as the company calls them, also includes a 12-year-old inspirational speaker, a vegan chef and a boy who excels at coding. “We don’t want kids that just do unboxing videos. We want diverse talent with niche content,” adds Silverman.
On the digital side, KidsKnowBest is expanding into in-house app development for the first time and is currently developing a free quiz app for kids called Lootee. Also on the horizon is a streaming research report that zeroes in on Netflix data. The company sampled nearly 5,000 children and families across the UK and the US and looked into 300 Netflix shows that kids say they watch.
“The study will examine what shows the kids are watching, what percentage of kids are super fans and which companies are the main distributors of the shows,” says Silverman. “We’re also trying to understand more about the data Netflix doesn’t share with the consumer or with brands, and find out if a child watches a show on Netflix, does it turn into CP sales, too?”