Inquisitive Minds raises $2.6 million

Chris Caceres · May 12, 2010 · Short URL:

Startup wants to make it safer for your kids to access content online with its Web browser, Zoodles

There's a ton of games and educational content online for children, but there isn't really a solid way to organize and present it without having to search on Google and use a URL bar.    Inquisitive Minds is trying to solve this dilemma with the launch of its new kid-friendly Web browser, Zoodles.

Along with its launch, the company announced it has secured $2.6 million in seed financing from Harrison Metal Capital.  

So what does the product do exactly?  It's targeted towards 2-8 year olds and basically presents in a kid-friendly manner, some educational games and videos, etc, which its aggregated from across the Web.  These games must of course first be first approved by Zoodles before they are actually accessible through the browser.  It takes away the whole search and discover process of finding content online for your children, and also perhaps the accident of exposing your children to objectionable content online.  

Some other features include a personalized playground, depending on a child's age, a parent dashboard (only offered in premium version) which helps parents guide their child's experience and an overall design for independent play.  Zoodles said it adapts to each child so they don't get stuck on age-inappropriate games or content.

While the company offers a free version of its browser, it still has to make some cash.  Zoodles also sells a premium version for $55.95 a year.  The premium version features perhaps the most important element to the whole concept - a parent dashboard so they can control which games and content their children access.  

In case you're not a fan of Zoodles, it does has have several competitors including KidZui, which is partnered with the likes of Best Buy, Comcast and Dreamworks.

Mark Williamson, CEO and co-founder of Zoodles said in a prepared statement, "The average child spends one out of every three minutes they are awake watching TV […] We designed Zoodles with the goal of giving families an alternative that is safe, engaging, interactive and educational. We believe that the Web can be a great independent play destination for young kids and that is what we’ve built with Zoodles.”

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