Bark Technologies, a global leader in the digital safety space, today announced the closing of a $30 million Series C financing round led by Kayne Partners, the growth private equity group of Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors, with participation from existing investors. This investment brings Bark’s total funding raised to date to $67 million. The company also announced that Leon Chen, Managing Partner at Kayne Partners, will join Bark’s board of directors.
Founded in 2015 by Brian Bason to help families work together to navigate the dangers of an ever-changing digital world, today Bark helps to protect nearly 6 million children online at home and in more than 3,200 schools and districts in the U.S., Guam, South Africa, and Australia. The Series C funding will be used to accelerate Bark’s international expansion, enable more strategic global partnerships, and further position Bark as a leader in the online safety space.
“We are thrilled to have Kayne Partners as a partner to help us offer even more families our online safety tools and resources,” said Brian Bason, founder and CEO of Bark. “In such an unpredictable world filled with far too many digital dangers that have greatly contributed to a youth mental health crisis, this funding is critical to our company’s mission and expansion to help protect more children online and in real life.”
Using highly sophisticated artificial intelligence, Bark alerts families to concerning behaviors in a variety of categories, including cyberbullying, depression, suicidal ideation, violence, and online predation. Bark monitors more than 30 of today’s most popular social media platforms and apps, as well as text messages, images, videos, chats, emails, and files. Families can also create custom screen time schedules, block websites and apps, and receive location alerts when kids are on the go. Bark even detects the nuanced ways kids communicate online via slang and emojis – including country-specific language differences – to help parents better understand their children and detect crises often masked in teen/tween speak.
“Kayne Capital prides itself on carefully selecting partners who are both leaders as well as responsible stewards in their areas of expertise,” said Leon Chen. “Bark is changing the world for the better by using technology for social good. We are proud to partner with a cause-driven organization that not only helps to protect children but also educates and empowers families while modeling behaviors of responsible digital citizens.”
Recent highlights for the company include:
- Announced partnerships with Cricket Wireless, C Spire, and Calix.
- Expanded its safety tools to Guam, South Africa, and Australia.
- Released its 2021 Annual Report after analyzing more than 3.4 billion messages across texts, email, and 30+ apps and social media platforms to identify concerning trends in online behavior among children ages 10–17.
- Collaborated with The Centers for Disease Control on a First-Ever Study Linking Past Online Behavior in Youth to Future Events of Suicide and Self-Harm.
- Received the prestigious 2022 Social Media Safety Technology Award from the Organization for Social Media Safety.
- Served as a trusted data source for news segments featured on CNN, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, as well as in The New York Times, Washington Post, Tech Crunch, Business Insider, and more.
- Launched a successful “Tech Bytes”video series, offering tips and resources for families on how to safeguard their children’s devices.
- Increased awareness of common digital dangers with virtual and in-person screenings of the acclaimed documentary Childhood 2.0.
- Grew its active Parenting in a Tech World Facebook group to more than 190,000 active members.
For more information on Bark Technologies, visit www.bark.us.