Kidas Raises $2 Million to Bring Safety tools to the Metaverse and Children’s PC gaming
Philadelphia, PA, November 12, 2021 - Kidas’ software proactively analyzes in-game communication on PC’s for potential threats such as cyberbullying, predators and toxic gaming behaviour to protect children and guide families through safe online gaming.
Kidas, the leading provider of AI driven cyberbullying identification software, today announced the closing of a $2 million pre-seed round. The funding accelerates growth and brings the Kidas mission to life: let children enjoy online gaming while making sure they are safe. Kidas’ built in-house software looks around the corner and sees what’s needed to prepare social gaming for the metaverse. Kidas’ created novel context understanding algorithms securely identify instances of cyberbullying, predation, and toxic gaming behavior. This software uses five levels of encrypted security while being able to differentiate between a gamer who is the receiver, passive listener, or is a perpetrator to such threats equipping parents with new insight. Kidas’ solution is the only offering currently on the market that addresses this pain point for parents and gamers.
After an initial investment from Comcast NBCUniversal Lift Labs powered by the Techstars Accelerator, this round includes new investments from Contour Venture Partners and New York Venture Partners (NYVP) with additional participation from Rob Seaver, founder of the leading gaming communications company Vivox, Margery Kraus, Founder and Executive Chairman of APCO Worldwide, Bharath Madhusudan, Co-founder of Securly, the first and only provider dedicated to bringing digital student safety to K-12, as well as additional angel investors.
Kidas’ software uses AI to detect cyberbullying, toxic gaming behavior, threats, online predators, and privacy violations. After installing the software on the child’s computer, Kidas sends custom weekly reports via email to parents about their childs’ gaming activity, threats exposed, as well as screen time analytics. Recommendations written by Kidas experts on how to deal with the threats are then shared based on what the child was exposed to that week. Kidas uses privacy compliance pseudo anonymity to protect the child’s information.
Kidas currently analyzes communication within 75 of the most popular games such as Roblox, Minecraft and Fortnite with more added weekly as well as communication apps such as Discord that are used for social gaming.
Trace Cohen, Managing Director at NYVP, says “We love the idea of Kidas to protect children and teens online from so many of the harmful things that happen. Gaming is growing so fast while safety tech lags behind leaving companies trying to play catch up - sadly often after negative events have already happened. Gaming needs to be a safe environment and Kidas offers a new way to inform parents of events and equip parents and caretakers with tools to talk to their kids about it properly.”
“We are excited about our partnership with Kidas,” said Bob Greene, Co-Managing Partner of Contour Venture Partners. “We were impressed by Ron, his team, and their proven engineering skills from the IDF 8200 unit. With the AI that the team has developed, we look forward to seeing Kidas’ impact on the industry as a whole as they continue to build best in class gaming protection software.”
Rob Seaver, founder and former CEO of Vivox, says “Kidas represents the opportunity to make one of the best parts of gaming better. Having pioneered the use of voice chat in gaming, I understand the incredible value of voice communication in games. Better communication makes games more immersive, interactive, engaging, and human. But it can come with a cost too. Bad behavior, bullying, abuse, etc. detracts from the benefits and pushes people out of games rather than drawing them in. Kidas fixes this.” Rob has also joined the Kidas Board of Directors.
Founder and Executive Chairman of APCO Worldwide, Margery Kraus says, “I am proud to partner with Ron and the team at Kidas. I look forward to being a part of the growth story, and believe strongly in the importance of building safer online communities for our children.”
“The team at Kidas has built an excellent solution to a very challenging problem,” said Bharath Madhusudan, Co-Founder and CEO of Securly. “I was very impressed by Ron and his talented team. Securly pioneered digital safety for K-12 students. I am very familiar with the problem and believe in the solution Kidas has built.”
KJ Singh, Managing Director at Techstars says, “I believe that Kidas is tackling a big problem in the gaming space which is only going to get worse over time. More people are spending more time online in various communities and are experiencing harassment. Everyone has the right to game online without being threatened or harassed and Kidas’ first in-class technology will get us there”.
Ron Kerbs, Founder and CEO says, ”It is our mission to help provide a safe online gaming environment for our children as they spend more time online interacting with digital avatars who could be anyone. Our team built the Kidas software with guidance from a handful of the world's leading bullying experts and researchers to change the landscape of safety in the gaming community and help give parents peace of mind.”
Over the last year and a half, tweens and teens all over the US have been forced online for all aspects of their lives. The pandemic ignited a period of exceptional growth for the gaming sector leaving the youngest gamers more exposed to the dangers that come with multiplayer gaming.
Read more on Tech Crunch.
Kidas started with the realization that while most players enjoy the social aspect of gaming, younger players and their parents rarely know how to manage the inherent risks of online anonymity. With this lack of knowledge, they are vulnerable to threats like cyberbullying and online predators. CEO Ron Kerbs, a former developer of threat detection solutions and an avid gamer himself, decided to solve this problem by applying advanced technology to video games making the experience safer for the youngest of gamers. Parents subscribe to Kidas’ service monthly or annually. Once they have subscribed, they download the Kidas software to the PC that the child plays video games on. The software analyzes in-game voice and text activity for language and behavior aligned with bullying, threats, and predation. Custom weekly reports are generated and emailed to parents letting them know if their child came in contact with such threats. For more information, visit www.kidas.net/.
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