Inspiring women: Estelle Lloyd
An award-winning entrepreneur, Lloyd's children’s entertainment app Azoomee has attracted a staggering total of £3.5m investment…
Name: Estelle Lloyd
Founded: Azoomee in March 2016
Start-up elevator pitch: Azoomee is a children’s entertainment app with over 400 hours of parent-approved, 100% child-safe games, videos and audio-books.
Funding raised: £3.5m
Follow her: @estelle_lloyd
Who is Estelle Lloyd?
Though she was born in France, Lloyd has spent her career so far in New York and London. She worked in tech and media investment banking for over 10 years before founding her first start-up, VB/Research, with her husband Douglas in 2006.
In 2011, the pair sold the company to FTSE 250 Centaur Media plc. But it wasn’t until later that the enterprising duo came up with the idea for Azoomee after an unfortunate incident with their six-year-old daughter, who had been searching YouTube for her favourite nursery rhyme and stumbled across some very age-inappropriate content.
Recognising that kids should have a 100% safe online space in which to be entertained but that there wasn’t one on offer, the husband-and-wife duo developed Azoomee; an app offering over 400 hours of child-safe games, audiobooks and parent-approved chat, with no ads or in-app purchase options.
Since launching the app, Lloyd has gone on to speak publicly about entrepreneurialism, women in business, technology, children’s online education and more. Reflecting her passion for disruptive technology, Lloyd was crowned Innovator of the Year at the 2017 Women in IT awards.
How has she won over investors?
With Azoomee, Lloyd has filled a need that many parents have felt keenly, and this is reflected in the success of the app which has scooped numerous awards as well as a BAFTA nomination.
Furthermore, the incorporation of an online education curriculum – Smart Safe Kind Online – into the app’s videos and games means that children learn safe and appropriate online conduct, as well as essential IT skills, while having fun; winning the app the support of the NSPCC.
Although Lloyd describes raising finance as “always tough”, thanks to its appeal to parents and safety education curriculum the app has attracted a staggering £3.5m to date from high net-worth individuals and the Low Carbon Fund, as well as drawing in the support of the crowd and raising £800,000 on Crowdcube last autumn.