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Investing in k-ID – Andreessen Horowitz

Kids and teens spend much of their time today playing, learning, and socializing in games and digital communities. As time spent online increases, keeping these digital spaces safe has never been more important.

In parallel, the legal and regulatory landscape for digital youth safety has become a labyrinth of complexity. Over 135 data privacy and safety laws have been passed globally, many of which vary significantly by region and user age. Regulators have intensified their focus across the globe – in just the past year, Tik Tok, Meta, Microsoft, and Epic have collectively been fined ~$2B for collecting Personally Identifiable Information of minors without parental consent. Most developers expect enforcement and penalties to continue increasing.

It’s clear that the current state of digital compliance is untenable for developers and publishers. Against this backdrop, we’re excited to share that we’re investing in k-ID – the best-in-class compliance engine for online safety and privacy management. We first led the Pre-seed in k-ID via our Tech x Games accelerator, SPEEDRUN, invested further in the Seed, and are excited to triple down and join the board in the Series A round.

The k-ID platform enables an instant single sign-on solution for kids and teens. Users identify their age and k-ID’s engine can help adapt apps and games based on user age, geography, and relevant local laws. Developers can tailor the experience for minors – for example, utilizing a different onboarding flow, removing features such as text/voice chat, or even changing the monetization model entirely.

k-ID’s solution enables full compliance with the ever changing patchwork of regulations while minimizing onboarding friction for new users. Before k-ID, a minor may have been barred from an app entirely, or only able to play after a high-friction process such as parental scanning of ID cards. With k-ID, youths gain immediate access to a safeguarded environment optimized for them, with the ability to upgrade to the full experience once a parent provides consent.

Developers and publishers love k-ID. In the 8 months since inception, client reception has been overwhelmingly positive – the pipeline is immense and growing. Along the way, the k-ID platform has garnered accolades and certifications from youth-focused industry groups such as ESRB Privacy Certified, ACCS, and UNICEF.

For parents, k-ID provides access to a hub where they have control and visibility over their kids’ digital time. Parents can manage permissions, oversee in-game spend, set curfews, monitor playtime, and more. And youths can access the games and apps they love with the full support of their parents, without having to resort to lying about their age or stealing ID cards.

We first met the k-ID team a year ago and were immediately impressed by their rare founder-market fit, deep expertise, and creative problem solving. CEO / cofounder Kieran Donovan has had a storied career as an attorney advising tech and gaming companies on global privacy compliance and built k-ID as the solution that his clients always wanted but didn’t have. Kieran is joined by an all-star founding team including Chief Growth Officer Julian Corbett, previously an executive at Tencent, Take-Two, and Voodoo; Chief Safety Officer Jeff Wu, a trust and safety veteran from early-stage Google and Meta; and Chief Legal Officer Timothy Ma, former head of international privacy and data protection at Tencent.

It’s been a pleasure watching this talented team execute over the past year, and we’re thrilled to continue supporting k-ID in their journey to define a new industry standard for digital youth safety. To find out more, visit: k-ID.com

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