I’m pretty much out of superlatives when writing about Dylan Collins’ latest venture.
Box of Awesome, which we previously described as a “free Birchbox for kids“, has acquired Swapit, the site that lets kids and teens trade unwanted items for stuff they do want and operates an accompanying ad network with a reach of 7.3 million. And with it comes a change of name. The newly formed company, which Collins says is now the leading kids and teens discovery platform in the UK, is to be called SuperAwesome.
That’s right, just when you think it can’t get any more ____________ [INSERT SUPERLATIVE].
The terms of the deal remains undisclosed, though I understand it was for stock not cash and that Swapit’s 9 person team will be joining the newly-formed company, including Tom Impallomeni as COO and Lee Veitch as VP Sales.
Box of Awesome launched back in February as a way to solve the discovery problem faced by physical and digital products targeting the 8-14 year-old kids market. It consists of a bi-monthly box delivered in the post to subscribers, stuffed full of games, music, books and other kid-friendly stuff. The draw for brands who pay for space in each Box of Awesome is the opportunity to be discovered by influencers in that hard to reach demographic — and to get valuable feedback from the mandatory surveys the kids take if they want to receive the next box.
The following month, the UK startup launched a version targeting girls, cleverly named OMG!, and there’s also a digital-only version to keep kids happy while they sit it out on the waiting list.
Meanwhile, Swapit has been around for a lot longer. Founded in 2001, it has three legs to its business. First is the online swapping and trading community for kids and teenagers. On the site, members earn virtual currency called “swapits” for every item they trade in, which they then use to bid on items they do want. But here’s the clincher: They can also earn “swapits” from leading brands and organisations for various activities. This includes mini-games, competitions and taking surveys. Swapits can also be used to bid on brand-promoted items. All of which makes sense from a SuperAwesome point of view.
In addition, Swapit operates an extensive ad network targeting kids, and has a research arm, too. Both also of value to the “kids discovery” proposition offered by the new company.
“Our vision is to create the next generation discovery platform for the kids and teens market,” says Collins in an email. “This generation of kids is enormously disruptive: they exist on multiple platforms and locations. And this maps exactly to how we’re building our company. As well as being experts in understanding kids and teens, Swapit has always shared this hybrid view which is why we realised there was a genuine match here.”
Collins also reckons that by combining forces, SuperAwesome has a reach of about 65% of the UK kids/teens market.
In a statement, Tom Impallomeni, CEO of Swapit, adds: “With SuperAwesome we’ve created the biggest kids and teens discovery platform in the UK which is safe, compliant and effective. I think our awesome customers, who include the likes of Warner Bros, Topps, Activision and Random House (amongst many others) are testament to this. For many brands, we are already a required part of their marketing mix.”