HTC Acquires Inquisitive Minds to Create Protected Mobile Environment For Kids
Pioneer in cross-platform family friendly interactive learning experiences strengthens HTC’s offerings
Taoyuan, Taiwan – October 18, 2011 – HTC Corporation, a global designer of mobile devices, today confirmed its commitment to ensuring personalized mobile experiences for consumers of all ages with the acquisition of Mountain View-based Inquisitive Minds Inc. The makers of Zoodles will maintain an independent brand, continuing to provide free apps and services that put smartphones, tablets and computers into Kid Mode™.
Widely recognized in North America for its award-winning work with parent and teacher associations, Zoodles will join forces with HTC to create vertically-integrated software, content, service and hardware experiences, only available on HTC devices. It will also continue to deliver a child-friendly, self-contained environment across Android, iPhone, iPad, PC and Mac devices, as well as a dedicated cloud platform.
“Children interact with technology in a wonderfully natural way,” said Peter Chou, CEO of HTC. “It’s important that they are protected while exploring and learning. We want to create a wholesome, family-oriented environment for our HTC devices, which makes Zoodles a perfect fit.”
With Zoodles, devices transform into a mode that allows kids eight and under to safely play educational games and videos that are tailored to their age, skill level and desired parental controls. Additionally children can interact with family members through video storybooks and an innovative Video Mail feature. By putting children and families at the center of everything it does, Zoodles creates unique experiences to enrich the lives of children and parents around the world.
Mark Williamson, CEO and co-founder of Zoodles said, "Over the years we have developed a deep understanding of how children play and learn through digital devices. We are incredibly enthused to become part of HTC, a company which shares our passion for putting users at the center of everything we do, and we are looking forward to continuing to innovate around solutions where children can safely and independently play and learn through digital devices."
HTC is investing $13 million for the acquisition of Inquisitive Minds. Zoodles boasts two million customers and HTC plans to expand Zoodles’ reach by bringing it to international markets, enriching global content and enhancing user experience for both kids and their parents worldwide.
About Inquisitive Minds
Mark Williamson, a father of two, founded Inquisitive Minds, Inc in late 2008, with the goal of harnessing the power of the Internet to create a safe, engaging and interactive place for young kids to play and learn. The company soft-launched its first product, Zoodles (www.zoodles.com), in April 2009. By gathering the best educational content from across the Web in one kid-friendly place, Zoodles finally gives parents an alternative to the television for independent playtime. Zoodles was recently awarded a Seal of Approval from the National Parenting Center, America’s leading parenting advocacy organization, the Parents’ Choice Award from The Parents’ Choice Foundation, the nation’s oldest nonprofit consumer guide to quality children’s media, and the coveted Gold Award from the National Parenting Publications (NAPPA), a seal given to the best children’s products and parent resources. Based in Mountain View, California, the company is backed by Harrison Metal Capital and led by a team of parents, engineers and education experts who love to help kids learn. www.zoodles.com.
HTC Corporation (HTC) is one of the fastest growing companies in the mobile industry. By putting people at the centre of everything it does, HTC creates innovative smartphones and tablets that better serve the lives and needs of individuals. The company is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange under ticker 2498. For more information about HTC, please visit www.htc.com.