PixyKids, a social media family and kids platform, has appointed John F. Rizzo, Jive Software’s chief marketing officer, to its board of directors. The announcement follows a recent $3 million funding round which included a $2 million investment by ATA Ventures. The company is also backed by Silicon Valley giants Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
PixyKids, an interactive and immersive social media family and kids platform, today announced that John F. Rizzo, Jive Software’s Chief Marketing Officer, has joined the Board of Directors. The announcement follows the closure of financing of a total round of $3 million including a $2 million investment by ATA Ventures. Mr. Rizzo is joining a board that includes PixyKids’ Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Rajul Kadakia and Co-Founder & Managing Director ATA Ventures, Pete Thomas. Backed initially by Silicon Valley giants Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Jive is one of the fastest growing public companies after their successful IPO in December 2011, which has further highlighted growing investor interest in social media companies.
“John’s exceptional depth of experience across social media, interactive marketing, and success growing early stage companies into respected organizations will make a tremendous contribution to our Board of Directors,” said Rajul Kadakia, Co-Founder and CEO of PixyKids. “We are conscientiously building the PixyKids Board with key innovators and decision makers in the industry and John’s extensive insight and experience comes at a very exciting time. I know he shares our enthusiasm and vision for PixyKids to become an engaging social platform where kids and families around the world can connect and share, and we are thrilled to be the beneficiary of his outstanding and relevant expertise.”
Having been involved in some of the industry’s most transformative technologies, Mr. Rizzo brings more than 25 years of marketing and leadership experience and currently leads Jive’s go-to-market strategy. During his career he has helped guide some of the most successful technology companies through start-up phases, major product launches, branding and marketing campaigns as well as acquisitions and other corporate transactions. Mr. Rizzo has raised over $150 million in private and public markets and was a key early-stage contributor to companies that are today delivering well over $100 billion in combined annual sales.
Prior to joining Jive, Mr. Rizzo spent the last several years as President and CEO of Zeebo, where he launched an interactive entertainment, Internet, social networking and education platform for consumers in emerging markets including Brazil, China, India and Mexico. Prior to Zeebo, he was CEO of Informative, a social networking and customer intelligence SaaS company. Mr. Rizzo also held executive roles at Oracle and Weitek, the world’s first fabless chip company. He began his career at Intel and spent several years at Apple in Product Marketing for Macintosh.
“I am really excited to be joining the PixyKids team and look forward to helping shape initiatives in social and digital marketing optimization as we continue to grow the company into a significant global brand and business,” said John F. Rizzo, Chief Marketing Officer at Jive. “PixyKids is a big idea, filling a missing gap in the digital landscape where kids and families can be empowered to connect and share personal experiences. It has become abundantly clear to me that the company is very well positioned to become a major player. PixyKids will soon deliver interactive experiences for families that will enrich their lives and that is something I am very proud to be part of.”
The PixyKids management team includes Rajul Kadakia as CEO, Michael Adair as COO, Neil Markey as VP Engineering, & Kristen Alexander as VP Marketing. The Advisory Board includes Kalpesh Savla, Co-Founder, PixyKids & CEO Neova Solutions, Altaf Shaikh, Co-Founder, PixyKids & CEO ListEngage, Ryan Steelberg, CEO/President, Brand Affinity Technologies (prior, Head of Radio, Google, Co-Founder/President, dMarc), two-time Emmy award-winning producer & CEO, Masher Media, Sherry Gunther (credits:Simpsons)(credits:Family Guy)(credits:Dexter’s Lab), John Trimble, CRO, Pandora (prior, EVP, Sales, Glam Media, SVP, Sales, Fox Interactive), Jonathan Sposato, Co-Founder/CEO Picnik (prior, Google, CEO Phatbits, Microsoft Game Studios) and Brandon Barber, SVP, Marketing, KIXEYE (prior, Co-Founder/VP Marketing, Lionside, VP, Marketing, Zynga).
Headquartered in Menlo Park, CA, PixyKids is an immersive social platform where kids ages 6-12 can interact with engaging applications and share their personal content, experiences, and growth with family and friends. Parents will be able to participate unobtrusively, as kids organically pull them in offering a window into their child’s growing independence. Other PixyKids features include customizable 3D avatars and backgrounds, a community wall with comments, text and video chat, email, and the ability to create a curated digital portfolio with photos, videos, and projects, all in a safe and COPPA (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) compliant environment.