Terms of the deal remain undisclosed, though my understanding is that, depending on earn-out performance, it is a seven-figure sum, as SuperAwesome looks to gobble up a bigger slice of the kids marketing pie and grow its value proposition in the process.
The UK startup itself is the result of a merger after Swapit — which operates a site for kids and teens to trade unwanted items, as well as a kid-friendly ad network — was acquired by Dylan Collins’ newest venture Box Of Awesome, the “free Birchbox for kids.”
The resulting venture, SuperAwesome, has since launched a premium mobile ad network targeting kids (helping app publishers wean themselves off spammy in-app purchases). It’s here that today’s acquisition of MobiGirl Media appears to come into focus.
Founded by Jennifer Noonan, Cara Hall and Alison Bradley, MobiGirl Media claims to be the only COPPA-compliant mobile ad network for girls 6-16, offering app publishers highly targeted campaigns on mobile and tablet devices.
Meanwhile, SuperAwesome says its existing channels currently reach 20 million kids each month. Clients include “hundreds” of kids’ brands such as Disney, Nickelodeon, Warner Bros, Nintendo and others.
“MobiGirl Media sees the start of our expansion into the U.S. We’ve been heavily focused on the UK but with the seismic changes in the kids market we’re seeing huge opportunities in other territories,” comments SuperAwesome founder and CEO, Dylan Collins, in a statement.
Those “seismic changes” refer in part to the shift from online web-based kids’ properties — such as virtual worlds — to mobile games. In fact, today’s announcement specifically mentions the “layoffs” at girl’s fashion virtual world Stardoll, covered recently by TechCrunch.
“The kids and teens market is being fundamentally disrupted by this new generation of kids who are being immersed in technology and content from a much younger age. It’s having a profound effect on how they interact with brands which traditionally would have found it much easier to communicate with this group. We’ve specifically built SuperAwesome to provide a bridge with brands for what is essentially a new audience,” adds Collins.
Finally, according to a source close to the company, SuperAwesome itself turned down a couple of acquisition approaches late last year, one from the UK and one from a U.S. media company.