Kids now have an Internet all their own, thanks to KidZui, The Internet for Kids, which launched today. KidZui (www.kidzui.com, pronounced kid-zoo-ee) is a revolutionary new browser and online service that lets kids aged 3 to 12 explore more than 500,000 child-appropriate Web sites, pictures and videos reviewed by KidZui’s paid team of parent and teacher editors according to strict editorial guidelines. KidZui provides a safe, engaging and entertaining environment that rewards kids’ curiosity and involves parents in their children’s online experiences. KidZui is available for download at www.kidzui.com.
“KidZui is not the adult Internet filtered for kids. Instead, we’ve built an entire Internet just for kids from the ground up, along with a brand-new, kid-friendly interface that completely revolutionizes and expands a kid’s online experience,” said Cliff Boro, chairman and chief executive officer of KidZui. “Parents know the Web can be a great way for their kids to have fun, explore and learn, but it’s also a source of anxiety over what inappropriate content or contact they might encounter. This often limits most kids’ experience of the Internet to only a handful of parent-approved sites. KidZui gives children the ability to explore independently and discover all the things they love across the Web, and gives parents the peace of mind that their kids are safe.”
Prior to launch, KidZui was road tested by 8,000 kids and their parents. Lisa Rebena, a parent whose child tested KidZui, commented: “My 4-year-old logs into KidZui and navigates all by herself, generally doing what she pleases. I am grateful for KidZui, and I’m much more relaxed now when my daughter is on the computer.”
Experience KidZui, The Internet for Kids
KidZui is so intuitive that even the youngest users can navigate it just by using pictures and other graphics. When they register, children are asked to create their own Zui, a personal avatar, which they can customize by changing its skin color, hair color and style, eye color and shape, clothes and accessories. KidZui encourages curiosity and learning by awarding points for each new video, website and picture discovered or rated. As kids achieve higher point levels, they have access to even cooler items and accessories to personalize their Zui. KidZui is designed for kids to connect to their real-world friends, subject to mutual parent approval. The social interaction is built on rating and sharing KidZui-approved content.
Engaging, Safe and Appropriate Content
Content in KidZui has been reviewed by a team of more than 200 trained teachers and parents in 25 states following strict editorial guidelines. The process ensures that kids see content appropriate for their age in terms of developmental level and reading ability. New Web sites, pictures and videos are added to KidZui every day. When a young user tries to access content outside of KidZui, the editorial team is notified, the content reviewed and, if appropriate, added — often within a matter of hours. The editors may choose to allow access to Web sites in their entirety, or only to specific sections, images or videos.
KidZui doesn’t allow kids to download software, eliminating possible worries about viruses, pop-up ads and spyware, and does not contain chat, instant messaging or other unrestricted online communication.
Parental Controls and Engagement
Parents have ultimate control over what their children see in KidZui. By logging into their web-based parental account accessible at www.KidZui.com, parents can change the categories of content available, add and take out specific Web sites and see what their kids are viewing online. That makes KidZui a great way for parents to stay in tune with their kids and engaged in their online activities. KidZui sends out a detailed weekly report of their kids’ recent searches and interests so that parents can plan family activities around their child’s interests.
Available today, KidZui is a downloadable kid-friendly browser and online service for PCs and Macs. After a 30-day free trial period, parents who sign up can take advantage of our special Charter Membership subscription rate of $4.95 per month or $49.95 per year, a 50 percent discount from standard rates of $9.95 per month or $99.95 per year.
The People Behind KidZui
The idea for KidZui came about when one of the founders, Vidar Vignisson, saw how difficult it was for his children to navigate the Internet safely on their own, and how limited their experience was. Together with Cliff Boro and Thomas Broadhead, they decided to create The Internet for Kids. They hired Deanne Kells, the former editor-in-chief of LeapFrog, to develop KidZui’s editorial philosophy and guidelines, and spent the last two years designing KidZui’s unique experience and selecting content.
The KidZui management team and board of directors has extensive experience in building world-class consumer software products with such partners as CNN, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Clear Channel Communications, Viacom, Sega and LeapFrog. The founders sold their last company to AOL. KidZui’s board includes Tom Kalinske, the former CEO of Mattel, Sega, Knowledge Universe and LeapFrog.
KidZui’s investors include Maveron, a leading venture capital firm, co-founded by Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, that partners with entrepreneurs in the creation of extraordinary companies across the Consumer Continuum™; Emergence Capital Partners, a leading venture capital firm focused on early and growth-stage Technology-Enabled Services companies, and First Round Capital, an early stage venture capital firm that partners with entrepreneurs to build innovative technology companies.