Three years after launching Ruckus Media, an interactive children’s multimedia app, education and retail platform, KiwiTech, a Washington, D.C.-based mobile technology company, has acquired a 75% interest in the company. Ruckus founder Rick Richter will leave the company following the completion of he deal, set for November 1. The venture capital firm Alsop Louie Partners is retaining its minority stake in the company.
The change in ownership will result in the closing of Ruckus's office in Wilton, Ct., but the company will remain in Connecticut. Jason Root, previously Ruckus’ chief content officer, has been named CEO of Ruckus Media Group and will report to Rakesh Gupta, KiwiTech CEO.
Commenting on the purchase, Gupta said, “Rick and his talented team have created a new benchmark in children’s digital content and parental involvement. We believe our team’s two decades of publishing technology experience can prove pivotal at Ruckus’ present inflection point. KiwiTech has the infrastructure and bandwidth to stay true to the company’s vision and help Ruckus achieve market scale.”
Founded in 2010 by Richter, the former president and publisher of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, Ruckus Media started as a producer and licensor of multimedia apps for children’s market. Over time Ruckus Media expanded its business model to include a focus on educational content and reading analytics in addition to offering video and interactive content. The company also partnered with brands like Hasbro, Sea World, Crayola, and others to create a bookshelf platform and retail channel for original content to boost discoverability. The venture added a dashboard for parents and teachers with feedback on children’s reading data.
Richter thanked “our investors and partners, who showed early and consistent confidence in our vision, and to our tremendously talented and tenacious staff,” and said "the digital delivery software created by Ruckus has many potential uses in publishing, education and entertainment. KiwiTech’s savvy management team (founders of the worldwide digital publishing pioneer Aptara) has been a leader in digital technology solutions and is uniquely positioned to bring this platform to market worldwide and to build out additional cloud based features.”