Today’s parents and teachers have the unenviable responsibility of keeping their kids and students safe on the internet. Parents and teachers are constantly pulled between allowing children to explore, learn and express themselves freely and protecting them from predatory websites, online bullying and harmful misinformation. Thankfully, one D.C.-area company is helping to maintain children’s autonomy while still keeping them safe online.
Safe Kids AI, which on Tuesday raised $1.5 million in a seed funding round, uses AI to intercept online threats and guide kids to “pause, reflect and redirect” to more appropriate content. Instead of flat-out blocking websites from use, Safe Kids AI takes a more nuanced approach to online safety, encouraging children to think critically and reach out for support.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue of kids’ social lives existing primarily online. Safe Kids AI supports them in stepping back from their devices and connecting with trusted peers and adults,” Atif Bhanjee, COO of Safe Kids AI, said in a statement.
Based in Vienna, Virginia, the company currently works directly with schools to protect kids from harmful online content, even that which can typically bypass traditional safety countermeasures like firewalls. According to the startup’s early investor and founding partner of The Resource Group Hasnain Aslam, Safe Kids AI aims to eventually become available to households, higher learning institutions and professional institutions.
The company’s recent funding round will be used primarily for product development, Bhanjee told Built In via email.
“We’ve been able to make significant strides and have a successful beta to boot,” Bhanjee said. “[We are] looking to expand the team in the coming months to get experts in K-12 business development, as well as scaling up our technical team to build new capabilities, not to mention finding qualified consultants to work directly with our customers.”