Ok Play Photo_mangoes

Dapper Labs acquires OK Play

EXCLUSIVE: The techco behind CryptoKitties and the NBA’s NFT marketplace has acquired the kids social media company, and its app is shutting down at the end of June.
June 2, 2022

Vancouver-based NFT company Dapper Labs has acquired kids social media company OK Play, whose exec team includes several Silicon Valley alums and veteran kids researcher Colleen Russo Johnson.

OK Play, an app that lets three- to six-year-olds create and share short videos, is scheduled to shut down on June 30. And Dapper Labs has indicated that a transition period will follow.

OK Play’s co-founders (with the exception of Russo Johnson) have all joined Dapper Labs—JJ Aguhob as VP of product management (he came to OK Play from popular meditation app Headspace); Chris Ovitz as head of special projects (he previously co-founded hiring platform Workpop); Travis Chen as director of product development; and Ken Chung as director of engineering for Dapper’s mobile platform.

On LinkedIn, Russo Johnson said she will be refocusing on her four-year-old kids education and research company OneFish TwoFish Consulting, based in Toronto. Prior to joining OK Play, Russo Johnson was also a director of research at Sinking Ship Entertainment (Odd Squad).

As of press time, Dapper Labs was not able to say what will happen to the rest of the OK Play team, nor could the company expand on its plans for the app.

Ahead of the June 30 shutdown, all in-app activities (such as the scavenger hunt and video ideas) will be free. OK Play is also shedding its community-based features (i.e. video sharing) and will refund annual subscriptions.

The company, which opened its doors in 2019, raised US$11 million in funding from partners such as LEGO Ventures and Collab+Sesame in order to release its namesake app in 2020. OK Play has not publicly shared any subscriber or user data since the launch.

Dapper Labs is behind blockchain-focused kids game CryptoKitties, which lets players buy and sell virtual cats. In recent years, it has expanded into launching NFT marketplaces and digital communities for companies such as the NBA and UFC Strike. Dapper also partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises in December 2021 to launch NFTs based on its well-known kidlit brands.

Last September, the techco raised US$250 million in funding to scale up and launch new products in support of bringing NFTs and blockchain technology into the mainstream.

 

About The Author
News editor for Kidscreen. Ryan covers tech, talent and general kids entertainment news, with a passion for kids rap content and video games. Have a story that's of interest to Kidscreen readers? Contact Ryan at rtuchow@brunico.com

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