Family communication and tracking app Life360 has announced a new investment round that will see the company bringing on board a number of “celeb” investors and influencers who, combined, will form a new “Family Advisory Council” to help shape Life360’s future product direction and marketing. The round, which is approximately $2.1 million in size, was led by Bryant Stibel, the firm co-founded by the late Kobe Bryant and business partner Jeff Stibel. Others in the round included Vanessa Bryant, Joanna and Chip Gaines, Tony Hawk, Chris and Jada Paul, TikTok influencer Billy Perry, and Nicole and Michael Phelps.
Life360 has traded on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) since listing two years ago, so this round is more about bringing on new stakeholders who can also help attract more attention to Life360’s service. The company says it’s currently on track to top $110 million USD in revenue this year for its app now used by over 28 million monthly users across 195+ countries. As of March 2021, 916,000 families are paying for Life360’s service.
The celeb investors along with Life360 will form the Family Advisory Council which will draw on the advisors’ own family experiences to help inform feature developments and shape the future of the product and marketing strategy, Life360 says.
The company has been working to be more responsive to family members’ concerns, as it wants to position its app as something all family members want to use — not just helicopter parents snooping on their kids. In fact, Life360 CEO Chris Hulls took to TikTok last year to listen to teens’ complaints about their lack of privacy, then used that to develop a more privacy-respecting feature called “Bubbles.” The feature shows a bubble around a general location, not a blue dot with an exact location. This is meant to give teens a sense of the freedom they crave, while also helping parents and kids establish better trust.
The new Family Advisory Council could help Life360 streamline similar sorts of input from families, it appears.
“Investing and advising in companies is typically an adult thing, not something you do with your children,” said Hulls, in a statement about the investment. “We’re creating a unique opportunity to advise on a product side by side with your kids. Having the support of these icons speaks volumes to our long term vision to be the leading provider in family safety services. Life360 wants to create a brand that feels meaningful and relevant for both parents and kids. So it’s only natural that we would ask our investors to participate in the same spirit,” he added.
“One of my passions is ensuring children get the opportunities they deserve,” noted new investor, Vanessa Bryant (Kobe’s widow). “Life360 helps families feel safe and protected by making carpooling, pickup and drop-offs easier for parents, while also providing locations at their kids’ schools, activities and sports practices. Having modern tools like driving information, speed and phone usage makes me feel a lot more at ease, especially with my teenage driver. I love the fact that I can see my daughter’s location and speed in a vehicle whether she’s driving or as a passenger,” her statement said.
Though best known for its location services, Life360 has been working to establish itself as more than just a family tracker, given the competition from apps like Find My that now come built into mobile devices, as well as services provided by mobile operators. Today, Life360’s suite of family tools includes those for driving safety, emergency assistance, identity protection, and more.
Earlier this year, Life360 also announced the acquisition of wearable device maker Jiobit to expand its tracking abilities to include family members without phones, like young children and even pet.
That $37 million deal will close in about 30 days, the company tells us.
The addition of the new investors follows Life360’s appointment of Randi Zuckerberg to its Board of Directors earlier this year, and last year’s addition of new C-Suite execs, CFO Russell Burke and CPO Jonathan Benassaya, to focus on the company’s business mode and product offerings, respectively.