Circle makes a fantastic screen time management tool and today the company announced a round of funding to help fuel its growth. The $20 million Series B included participation from Netgear and T-Mobile, along with Third Kind Venture Capital and follow-on investments from Relay Ventures and other Series A participants.
With this round of funding, Circle has raised more than $30 million to date, including a Series A from 2017.
According to the company, Circle intends to use the funds to expand its product offering and form new partnerships with hardware makers and mobile carriers.
The timing is perfect. Parents are increasingly looking at ways to make sure children and teenagers do not become addicted to screens.
Circle works different from other solutions attempting to limit screen time. It’s hardware based and sits plugged into a home’s network. It allows an administrator, like a parent, to easily restrict the amount of time a device, such as an iPhone owned by a child, is able to access the local network. It’s easy and that’s the point.
Circle sits in a small, but growing field of services attempting to give parents the ability to limit their child’s screen time. Some of these solutions, like Apple’s, sit in the cloud. And though Apple’s works well, it is limited to iOS and Mac OS devices. Others, like those on Netgear’s Orbi products, offer a similar network-wide net, but are much harder to use than Circle.
In my household we use tools like Circle. The lure of the screen is just too great and these solutions, when used in combination with traditional parenting, ensure my children stare into the real world — at least for a few minutes a day.