Kids-oriented social streaming app Zigazoo announced the completion of a $4MM seed funding round, led by MaC Venture Capital and attracting investors including: Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures; Jimmy Kimmel and Wheelhouse, Kimmel and Brent Montgomery’s media and investing business; pocket.watch Founder & CEO Chris M. Williams; Jeremy Padawer of Jazwares; Talis Capital; Tech Coast; manager and producer James “Babydoll” Dixon; and MasterClass Head of Talent Matthew Rutler.
Launched in 2020 by UClass co-founders Zak and Leah Ringelstein, Zigazoo is a short-form video platform that combines elements of popular social media and streaming sites like YouTube and TikTok with safety features to create a social streaming experience specifically for kids.
As a member of the kidSAFE Seal Program, Zigazoo verifies all users and enlists a human moderation process that reviews for kid-friendly behavior, dress, and language. To keep all interactions positive and help promote healthy online relationships, the app only allows positive emojis and stickers throughout its interface. The app enables kids to browse and view children’s media content, participate by recording and sharing 30-second challenge videos tied to each piece of content, and interact with other kid subscribers and their video creations. It’s available for download for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play App Store.
“We first created Zigazoo as a way to engage our own kids in healthier, more creative screen-time during the Covid-19 pandemic, and our kids loved it so much that we realized it had the potential to be so much more. We live in a time when social media and streaming have become a mainstay of daily life, but most kids’ media options encourage children to passively consume unsafe content and nothing was empowering kids to develop healthy social media and streaming habits from an early age,” said Zak Ringelstein. “We are thrilled that parents across the globe, including Serena Williams and Jimmy Kimmel, love Zigazoo and are taking this journey with us to finally build a screen-time experience that is both healthier and fun.”
Since launching this past summer, the app has accrued more than 20 million views, 100,000 subscribers, and content from children’s media brands including Peanuts, Netflix, Apple TV+, Canticos on Nick Jr., the Philadelphia Zoo, kids’ musician Laurie Berkner, 2021 Grammy winner for best children’s album Joanie Leeds, and most recently, Serena Williams and Olympia Ohanian’s Qai Qai Doll, who have partnered with Zigazoo to engage with kids in short-form video creation challenges. In the coming months, Zigazoo will introduce a new wave of blue chip content partners.
“We have been searching the market for an edutainment platform built ground-up for the needs of kids and families, and Zigazoo is hands-down the best offering out there,” said Alison Rapaport Stillman, partner at Serena Ventures. “Our venture team is bullish on Zigazoo because they are building the future of kids media where kids aren’t passively binging unhealthy content alone, but actually creating alongside their friends and favorite media stars in a safe, educational, and healthy environment.”
“We fell in love with Zigazoo because it perfectly blends parent needs with kids’ wants by leveraging the power of social video coupled with world-class content creators and brands,” said Michael Palank, partner at MaC Venture Capital. “Zak and Leah have created something truly remarkable drawing upon their experience as parents, educators and entrepreneurs.”
Adrian Fenty, fellow MaC General Partner added, “Our goal is to make investments that are both important and impactful. Zigazoo is that rare company building a product that is as dynamic for entertainment as it is for learning.”