Announcing Our Seed Round And Public Beta Launch
Hellosaurus raises $3.5M led by General Catalyst and launches our new platform filled with shows kids can play instead of just watch.
We started Hellosaurus in late 2019 to reimagine screen time for the touchscreen generation. While screens can be effective tools to both educate and entertain, too often parents are left feeling guilty about what they are handing over and kids are left simply staring at a device. Our mission is even more pressing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which mobile device screen time for kids has increased by over 150%, with some studies reporting increases as high as 500%.
At Hellosaurus, we’ve built an interactive video platform for kids filled with episodes they can actually play instead of just watch. Top kids media creators and YouTube stars are already using our software toolkit to move beyond passive video into immersive, interactive content.
Today, I am thrilled to announce today the beta launch of the Hellosaurus mobile app, which is now available for download on iOS, along with $3.5M in seed funding led by General Catalyst. This seed financing round follows a summer in Y Combinator and includes participation from GSV Ventures, Shrug Capital, Next 10 Ventures, BDMI, GFC, as well as Dave Gilboa (Founder, Warby Parker), Neil Blumenthal (Founder, Warby Parker), Jeff Raider (Founder, Warby Parker, Harry's), and Joey Zwillinger (Founder, Allbirds) through their Good Friends fund. A fantastic group of angel investors have also participated, including Chad Hurley (Founder, YouTube) and Zach Klein (Founder Vimeo, DIY.org), Michael Karnjanaprakorn (Founder, Skillshare, Otis), Rob Fishman (Founder, CEO Brat); Chris Williams (Founder, pocket.watch), Nitesh Banta (Founder, CEO B12), Darius “Bubs” Monsef (Founder, Brave Care, Creative Market), Dan Teran (Founder, Managed By Q), Noam Lovinsky, Jason Toff, Caroline Jacobs (UTA), David Goldberg (Alpaca), Brad Holden (AWS), Philippe Dauman Jr (PPD Management), and Paul Sethi (2048).
Hellosaurus was built for kids from the ground up, initially focusing on kids 2-8 years old. Many of us grew up on shows like Sesame Street and Blue’s Clues, which have long tried to create the level of audience participation that Hellosaurus has finally made a reality. We are excited to be giving creators tools that allow them to pioneer an entirely new type of content format and open a new world of digital play for kids.
Hellosaurus is the only video platform that enables true audience participation by leveraging mobile technologies like multi-touch screens, microphones, and cameras. New research has shown this kind of active screen time to be meaningfully better for a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive growth than the passive video viewing found on all other platforms.
Recent YouTube policy changes have left many kids media creators in search of additional monetization opportunities. Hellosaurus enables these creators to open another revenue stream while exploring a new, interactive content format. Our platform is already home to a number of household names and YouTube stars with a combined global reach of over 200M, including Mother Goose Club, Kidz Bop, Kids Diana, Mar Mar Land, Super Simple, The Onyx Family, The Laurie Berkner Band, Highlight Magazine, Cosmic Kids Yoga, and many more.
We are so excited to be sharing Hellosaurus with the world today and to be welcoming an awesome new set of investors. Families are welcome to try Hellosaurus for free here.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the incredible work of the Hellosaurus team and our advisors. A huge thank you to Jared, Tim, Juliet, John, Danny, JJ, Cedric, Zack, Kevin, Shawn, Jennifer, Brooke, Martha, Leo, Ackella, Charlie, Hayley, Sara, Jens, Kristen, and Drew. We’re just getting started.
James Ruben Founder, CEO