Irishman’s online empire helps digital marketers reach 200m kids worldwide

21 Nov 2014

Dylan Collins, tech entrepreneur

Technology entrepreneur Dylan Collins’ global ads network for kids has expanded to the US and South-East Asia. He said the network now reaches 200m kids every month.

Collins is one of Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs, embarking on his start-up career while at Trinity College Dublin with Phorest, which is still in business today, and games middleware firm Demonware, which is also still active. Activision acquired Demonware in 2007 for an estimated US$15m.

His latest venture SuperAwesome has grown to become the largest kids marketing platform in the world across mobile, web and online video in the US, UK, Australia and Asia.

The company has more than 100 content partners and has become a go-to advertising network for kids brands, including Hasbro, LEGO, Warner Bros, OMD, Carat, Mediacom and more than 150 others.

Collins said that because of the restrictions that the COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) puts on the advertising industry in the US, SuperAwesome’s technology is the only safe marketing option for brands.

As well as establishing a new presence in New York, the company has launched SuperAwesomeAsia as part of a joint venture with Asian venture-capital player Inspire Ventures.

Initially based in Bangkok, the new group will focus on opportunities in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, which Collins said have the most rapidly growing internet populations on the planet.

The region also has one of the largest concentrations of young mobile users, with more than half of mobile internet users under 24 years of age.

Speaking with, Collins explained how SuperAwesome has grown to reach more than 200m children globally.

“We have just under 100 of the world’s top kids content publishers/developers who use our ad platform to show kid-safe advertising to their audience,” Collins said.

“In aggregate across mobile, web, video in the US, the UK, Australia and Asia, that number of active kids is 200m every month. It’s pretty huge and it’s precisely why so many brands use us for marketing, as they can reach the entire audience via our platform versus trying to deal with each platform/publisher separately.”

The challenges SuperAwesome helps brands overcome

“Kids have become an incredibly fragmented market in terms of tablets, phones, laptops and web, and it has become very difficult for brands to effectively reach them.

“Kids developers find it very hard to safely monetise their apps/content. There were no kid-specific revenue tools available until we came along.

“Compliance is becoming a major issue in the US and Europe, which creates a major technical overhead for anyone active in the kids space.

“We built SuperAwesome quite specifically to deal with these issues, hence our very rapid growth. They’re global problems.”

Collins said the issue of compliance around technology and kids will be a massive issue in 2015.

“There’s a growing wave of kid-related legislation (eg, COPPA and the forthcoming EU equivalent) which are going to require completely new technology platforms in some areas. EVERYONE in the kids entertainment sector is going to be impacted by this. It’s why we’ve focused so hard to build a completely new platform with this in mind. It’s also why we spend so much time helping our brands, agencies and partners get educated about this,” Collins added.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years