In the age of TikTok, many parents are finding that kids below the target demographic are seeking to get in on the streaming video action and are doing so while encountering a raft of inappropriate content.
Now, Zigazoo seeks to create a safe space for kids to learn healthy social media habits in what’s being described as a “TikTok meets YouTube” platform.
Zigazoo launched last year as a project from UClass co-founders Zak and Leah Ringelstein, and this week they’ve completed a round of $4 million in seed funding led by MaC Venture Capital with backing from some familiar names in the toys and entertainment space. Pocket.watch Founder and CEO Chris M. Williams and Jazwares Partner Jeremy Padawer have joined Jimmy Kimmel’s Wheelhouse (in partnership with Brent Montgomery), Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures, Talis Capital, manager and producer James “Babydoll” Dixon, and MasterClass Head of Talent Matthew Rutler in providing funding for the startup.
“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,” says Zak Ringelstein. “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.”
Zigazoo has implemented measures to ensure its community is safe and filled with positive content. The platform is a member of the kidSAFE Seal Program and 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, Zigazoo only allows positive emojis and stickers throughout the app’s interface.
Since launching on the Apple App Store and Google Play last summer, more than 100,000 subscribers have joined and contributed to more than 20 million content views. Content partners include Netflix, Peanuts, and family music artists Laurie Berkner and Joanie Leeds. Serena Williams and Olympia Ohanian’s Qai Qai Doll is also being featured on Zigazoo to engage with kids in new ways.