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)

Recent Headlines

in Local

Seattle watchdog recommends Seattle officer be terminated

Fresh
golf

  SEATTLE (AP) — A Seattle police officer is at risk of losing her job over an arrest involving a…

in Local

Pierce County prosecutor, deputy sued in federal court

Fresh
Legal Docket Justice

A woman who was charged twice in Pierce County and twice had those charges dismissed has filed a federal lawsuit against the county prosecuting attorney and one of his deputies.

in Local

Washington governor seeks plan to limit carbon emissions

Fresh
Governor Jay Inslee

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Jay Inslee has directed the state Department of Ecology to develop a plan to cap…

in Local

FAA investigating airliner that nearly ran out of fuel

Fresh
allegiant

Federal officials are investigating why an Allegiant Air passenger jet nearly ran out of fuel before landing at an airport that was temporarily closed to most traffic.

in Local

Closer to knowing what was in blood of man accused of killing 2 teens

Fresh
image

18-year-old Shane Ormiston and 15-year-old Gabe Anderson died and two other Windward High School students were hospitalized.