The kids’ audio platform, Yoto – the London-based team behind the award-winning Yoto Player – has raised $17 million in a Series A funding to help facilitate its rapid growth across Europe and North America.
The investment was led by Acton Capital with participation from JamJar Investments, Global Founders Capital, Emerge Education, as well as MPL Ventures.
Controlled using physical cards to play children’s audio content, Yoto Player has been developed to give children full control over their listening with access to entertaining audio – spanning stories and music – designed to encourage learning and imaginative play.
Since launching the new Yoto Player in early 2020, the firm has experienced explosive growth, securing partnerships and content deals with trusted household names such as LEGO and Disney as well as licenses with Penguin Random House, Sony Music, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan and more.
Yoto’s extensive and expanding content library features some of the world’s greatest children’s content including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Gruffalo, The Snowman, and Planet Omar with LEGO Duplo, Frozen, Finding Nemo and many more household names to be released in the coming months.
“In times where kids are growing-up on screens, one of the most important skills they need is to be able to use technology consciously and with balance. Yoto’s proprietary audio platform puts children in full control of how and when they consume audio content,” said Fritz Oidtmann, managing partner at Acton Capital.
“What further convinced us to invest was Yoto’s unique approach to combining native content with carefully curated partnerships. We are very happy to support the team’s vision to make Yoto’s high-quality, kid-centered content available worldwide.”
Richard Reed, JamJar Investments and Innocent Drinks co-founder, said: “As a dad of three, I know from first-hand experience what a lifesaver Yoto is – it fires up your kids’ imagination and creativity, so they play independently and safely.
“As an investor, Yoto is everything you could be looking for – a new entertainment format for kids that has limitless potential, loved by its buyers and adored by its users, led by a whip smart, mission-focused team.”
In an effort to offer audio that will inspire the next generation of independent creative minds, Yoto is also investing in content that promotes mindfulness, meditation and sleep. Recently, Yoto launched a series of sleep content cards with Lifescore & Abbey Road Studios.
Leading the industry in audio that inspires children to take creative play into their own hands, Yoto also offers music, audio-based activities, podcasts, radio and sound effects.
In addition, the Yoto Player has a ‘Make Your Own’ function enabling users to link to their favourite radio stations or podcasts and record their very own stories.
“We designed Yoto around our own kids and we’ve seen how amazing it is to give kids control of their own listening. I’ve seen how this really does help with creativity and imagination compared to screen-time and the research backs that up,” said Ben Drury, CEO and co-founder of Yoto.
“I’m thrilled with how far we’ve come and the amount of families we’re getting amazing feedback from, and this new investment from some of the best funds in the UK and Europe that share our vision allows us to continue to fuel the curiosity of this generation of young learners through audio.”