News

Kid-friendly Instagram rival plans aggressive push

Kid-friendly Instagram rival plans aggressive push

PHOTOS: Kuddle, which raised $2 million in funding recently and is in the process of raising another $8 million, is now hiring staff in Silicon Valley and has already rolled out the app in 9 languages with further versions in the works to meet unexpectedly strong demand, it said. Photo: Reuters

OSLO (Reuters) – Kuddle, a Norwegian picture-sharing app designed for children and billing itself as a rival to Instagram could have one million users by the end of the year and plans an aggressive push into the U.S. market, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

Kuddle, which raised $2 million in funding recently and is in the process of raising another $8 million, is now hiring staff in Silicon Valley and has already rolled out the app in 9 languages with further versions in the works to meet unexpectedly strong demand, it said.

Kuddle, which launched this month, lets parents monitor what their children publish and keeps access to content restricted, preventing strangers from seeing and sharing pictures. There are no hashtags or comments to prevent online bullying and “likes” are anonymous.

Most of the app’s users are based in Norway and the U.S. but the firm has also recorded significant growth in countries like India and Saudi Arabia, prompting developers to speed up work on new language versions.

“We are very happy with the growth so far. We have had an average daily growth of 10 to 15 percent and the uptake has been great,” founder and chairwoman Kathryn Baker told Reuters.

Kuddle itself is free and the company expects to generate revenue from an upcoming in-app store, selling safe mobile devices from some of the leading global brands, combined with child friendly data packages from mobile phone operators.

“We are in negotiations with two major international device producers right now and we are also in talks with several major European operators for a safe Kuddle mobile phone subscription where parents have more control over their children’s data usage,” CEO Ole Vidar Hestaas said.

The firm’s investors include Norwegian golfer Suzann Pettersen and the firm has also recorded interest from some major U.S. and European venture capital funds.

(Reporting by Joachim Dagenborg; Editing by Balazs Koranyi)

Local Headlines

in Local

2015 Beach Blast Off Concert

irrma

Arnold’s Park, IA (KICD)– The Iowa Rock ‘n Roll Music Association (IRRMA) announces a “Beach Blast Off” concert. Andrea Weisenmeyer…

in Local

Chicken Barn Workers Sickened

Bird Flu 1240

Workers in a chicken barn under quarantine become ill.

in Local

Spencer Avenue Of Flags Volunteers Requested

News CitySpencer1240

Volunteers are needed to assist with Spencer's Avenue of Flags.

in Local

Ed Funding Issue

cash1240

As lawmakers struggle to resolve the state budget, a new conflict has sprung up about how much new money to give schools in the 2016-2017 school year.

in Local

Fireworks Bill Passes House

statehouse

It would be legal to sell and set off fireworks in Iowa if a bill that cleared the Iowa House last night becomes law.