Family-friendly media and technology startup Happly has raised $1.45 million, according to a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Happly (formerly known as Daily Interactive Networks) is a Seattle-based startup that launched in 2012 with an iPad app to help kids safely explore the Internet and find content from National Geographic photographers, among others. Founder Brian Monnin says he was inspired to create the free app after “my 5-year old son Duncan took us from Angry Birds to a video on YouTube that taught my 9-year old son Theo how to drop the F-bomb.”
The SEC Form-D indicates that seven investors took part in the equity offering but doesn’t name names. Monnin said he prefers not to disclose them now, but says the Series A round will “complete the build out of a ‘transmedia publishing platform’ that helps publishers manage video, games, creative apps and, in the near future, connected toys.”
Since the initial app launch three years ago, Happly has broadened its horizons and added Discovery Kids as a partner. “In the process of creating the Happly app and a new gaming system we invented a unique kind of content management system that makes it easy to publish the blend of games and videos that kids 6-12 expect to see together and that parents can trust,” Happly’s website explains. “It’s an awesome system and we’re thrilled that Discovery Communications has chosen Happly to power much of the Discovery Kids Digital Network.”
Monnin says the free iPad app will remain available for parents, but the proceeds of the offering will go to invest in the underlying platform for kid-friendly content publishers — assisting them is Happly’s business model. Monnin says Happly’s transmedia platform can replace what are currently multiple, disconnected publisher services.
“Rather than try to do it all ourselves as a direct to consumer business we have begun to license our technology to others in the entertainment and education space,” Monnin says.
In addition to Discovery Kids, Monnin (who had leadership roles in interactive media at NBC News and Intel, and product management at Brightcove) says Happly has partnered with Bejuba Entertainment “to provide video technology solutions to the kids TV entertainment space” for managing games, apps and digital distribution of a new Maker-savvy animated dinosaur series.
Monnin says the connected toys capability of the Happly platform will be available early in 2016.