Audio Platform For Kids Yoto Raises $17 Million

By Annie Baker ● May 26, 2021
  • Yoto, the audio platform for kids behind the Yoto Player, announced it raised $17 million in Series A funding. These are the details.

Yoto — the audio platform for kids behind the Yoto Player — announced it has raised $17 million in a Series A round of funding to facilitate its rapid growth across Europe and North America. And the investment was led by Acton Capital with participation from JamJar Investments, Global Founders Capital, Emerge Education, and MPL Ventures.

The funding round closed in January and followed the hugely successful launch in early 2020 of the 2nd generation Yoto Player, subsequently awarded one of TIME magazine’s Inventions of the Year. And Yoto Player is inspired by Montessori principles and is designed to safely give children full control over their listening with access to entertaining audio — which encourages learning and imaginative play. Yoto Player is controlled with physical cards that are inserted into the Player which then play the audio content.

Since launching the new Yoto Player last year, Yoto has experienced explosive growth, securing partnerships and content deals with trusted household names like LEGO and Disney as well as licenses with Penguin Random House, Sony Music, HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, and more. And Yoto’s extensive and ever-expanding content library is packed with some of the best 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 an effort to offer audio that is going to inspire the next generation of independent creative minds, Yoto is also investing in content that promotes mindfulness, meditation, and sleep. And most recently, Yoto launched a series of sleep content cards with Lifescore & Abbey Road Studios.

Plus Yoto also offers music, audio-based activities, podcasts, radio, and sound effects. And the Yoto Player has a ‘Make Your Own’ function enabling users to link to their favorite radio stations or podcasts and record their very own stories.

KEY QUOTES:

“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. 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.”

— Fritz Oidtmann, Managing Partner at Acton Capital

“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.”

— Richard Reed, JamJar Investments and Innocent Drinks Co-Founder

“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. 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.”

— Ben Drury, CEO and co-founder of Yoto