Hellosaurus Raises $3.5M from General Catalyst, Launches New Platform to Reimagine Screen Time For Kids and Help Creators Monetize Content

The mobile app, now available for download on iOS, is filled with shows kids can actually play, not just watch

New York, UNITED STATES


NEW YORK, Nov. 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hellosaurus, the interactive video platform reimagining entertainment for the touchscreen generation, announced today the beta launch of its mobile app, which is now available for download on iOS, along with $3.5M in seed funding led by General Catalyst. In addition to providing a mobile app for families filled with active play experiences that support kids’ cognitive and social development, the platform also offers a toolkit for creators of safe, high-quality kids programming that empowers them to move beyond passive video into immersive, interactive content.

Hellosaurus 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.

“Hellosaurus was built for kids from the ground up,” said founder and CEO James Ruben. “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.”

“Mother Goose Club is thrilled to be among the first content creators to use Hellosaurus’ new interactive technology,” said Harry Jho, CEO of Mother Goose Club. “The benefits of this type of active engagement include better hand-eye coordination and improved problem-solving abilities, both of which are crucial for strong early childhood development.”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, mobile device screen time for kids has increased by over 150%, with some studies reporting increases as high as 500%. Though screens can be effective tools to both educate and entertain, too often parents are left feeling guilty about what they’re handing over and kids are left simply starting at a device. Episodes on Hellosaurus are designed to make kids ages 2-8 feel important, creative, and accomplished all while having fun. Meanwhile, parents can trust that every minute of content has been curated, reviewed, and approved by industry experts. Additionally, Hellosaurus is a subscription-based service, meaning kids will never be exposed to ads.

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. The 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, Kids Diana, Mar Mar Land, Super Simple, The Onyx Family, The Laurie Berkner Band, Highlight Magazine, Cosmic Kids Yoga, and many more.

“We’re proud to be supporting James and his team's mission with Hellosaurus as they open their platform to new creators and households to provide safe and engaging educational content for children,” said Peter Boyce II, Partner at General Catalyst. “Their vision combines the best of video, gaming, and interaction in a way that’s positioned to redefine the meaning and impact of screen time, for both families and creators of kids media alike.”

The seed financing round follows a summer in Y Combinator and includes participation from GSV Ventures, Shrug Capital, Next 10 Ventures, BDMI, Runway Fund, 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. This round also includes a number of prominent angel investors like Chad Hurley (Founder, YouTube) and Zach Klein (Founder Vimeo, DIY.org) among many others and will be used to further grow and develop the Hellosaurus team and product.

All families are welcome to try Hellosaurus for free today here. A press kit is available here.

“Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” - Fred Rogers

About Hellosaurus
Hellosaurus is an interactive video platform for kids filled with episodes they can actually play instead of just watch. Top kids media creators and YouTube stars with a global reach of over 200M subscribers are already making content for the Hellosaurus platform and transforming screen time into an active, fun, and safe experience. Hellosaurus was founded in 2019 by James Ruben, who pioneered the interactive video format as Head of Product at HQ Trivia and was named Forbes 30 Under 30. Hellosaurus is built by folks with previous experience at companies like Google, Toca Boca, Nickelodeon, The New York Times, Apple, Sesame Street, Kidville, Mystery.org, DataCamp, and EA Games. Try Hellosaurus for free today here.

Contact
press@hellosaurus.com

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f4815cdd-0985-46f2-8846-f8bc5ad48e18

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/c2fe0773-8da3-40d2-ae3f-83b4935b68f0


Shows kids can play, not just watch hellosaurus-lifestyle