Douglas Lloyd co-founded the Azoomee platform with his wife Estelle in 2014. The couple has 3 daughters and they have seen for themselves how hard it is to find quality children's content online that is educational as well as engaging. Seven years on, a lot has changed, a new company has emerged, but this core principle is still at the heart of everything they do together.
Tell us a few words about Macademia, Azoomee and Da Vinci. How did it start? Did
this new company had anything to do with you becoming a parent?
My wife Estelle and I founded Azoomee in 2014. We have three daughters and saw first-hand
how hard it is to find quality kids’ content that’s not only educational and also engaging. Seven
years on, a lot has changed but that core principle is still at the heart of everything we do.
Macademia is our new parent company. It was formed in 2019 after Azoomee acquired Berlin-
based Da Vinci Media. Our mission is to help parents raise exceptional humans. Our kids
brands, Azoomee and Da Vinci, now have established distribution relationships with more than
500 PayTV operators, streaming platforms, telcos and OEMs who distribute their channels and
apps globally, including Vodafone, Digi and Orange in Romania.
Do you take your daughters’ opinions into consideration when choosing games
for Da Vinci Kids?
As you can imagine, our daughters are some of our biggest fans... but they can also be our
harshest critics! That’s why I love to sit down with them, watch a couple of episodes of our latest
show together or see who can get the best score on one of our new games (always my
daughters!). It gives me an insight into how kids really approach different topics. And it’s a lot of
fun for me too!
How did you manage to blend the classical TV shows from Da Vinci into the online
We don’t think so much about classical TV shows versus online content because kids don’t think
about content in this way. What we obsess over is bringing engaging content to kids in the most
accessible way. The best way to learn varies – it might be lounging on the sofa watching a TV
show like Operation Ouch on our PayTV channel or getting creative around the kitchen table
trying to make something from our series Marvelous Makes. We want kids to use our content to
larn in the way that suits them.
What makes Da Vinci Kids different from other online platforms for children?
Most importantly it’s that kids WANT to use Da Vinci Kids! There are lots of educational services
out there but – if we’re honest – they’re boring and children simply don’t want to use them.
That’s where Da Vinci Kids is different.
When we select content it must have real learning value BUT it’s just as important that it’s
something kids want to watch or play. This is incredibly powerful because it means Da Vinci
Kids is enjoyable for kids; it’s not just more homework.
Considering children’s exposure to the online world, how do you see the future of
education in this digital era?
The pandemic put the uptake of digital learning into warp speed. We’re probably 10 years
ahead of where we expected to be in terms of parental engagement and needs, and there’s no
I have experienced firsthand the challenge of learning from home. It’s been extremely difficult for
children and parents. However, it’s also shown us all how technology can enhance and support
classroom study by diving into subjects that schools simply don’t have time to cover enough like
STEM, critical thinking, creativity and social-emotional skills.
Obviously I hope we don’t see schools close again. However, I do hope that governments and
schools will now see the hugely valuable role technology can play in children’s learning from an
early age. We are proud and ready to support this global mission.
How does Azoomee and Da Vinci Kids protect online privacy of children?
As you can imagine, privacy is at the very heart of what we do on our products. Nothing is more
important than this when you’re making products for kids? Fundamental to this is our approach
to data – our approach is to collect the absolute minimum amount of data possible -- if we don’t
need to know something to help your kids learn, we won’t ask! This means we’re 100% GDPR
compliant and COPPA accredited by kidSAFE, which is the gold standard in terms of data
privacy for children.
Beyond this, it’s really about educating kids and families. That’s why we created
Search It Up , a BAFTA-nominated Da Vinci Kids original series, which helps kids learn about all aspects of online safety. It gives them the tools to ask questions like: “what is personal information?”, “what’s true/real online?”, and “what even is the Internet?”.
What was the hardest moment in the evolution of the digital product (of the
Our biggest challenge has been to re-imagine Da Vinci Kids from a PayTV channel into a highly
immersive mobile experience that kids love which is available everywhere in 21 languages. I am
very proud with our new mobile and TV apps ..... and they are only going to get better!
As you can imagine, this has been an enormous amount of work but the feedback has been
amazing and we can see from families that this new experience is very popular.
And what is your proudest moment?
It’s hard to choose just one! Launching with our first major partner was amazing, winning
awards for our original content is really rewarding, and releasing the Da Vinci Kids app globally
on mobile and TV was a huge moment.
However, my proudest moments are the little ones. When I see one of my daughters’ friends
learn to make a lava lamp from our series Marvelous Makes Lab or I read a review of our app
which thanks us for what we do, I’m reminded of the impact we can have on kids and their
learning journey so they grow up curious, full of imagination and engaged with the world around
What's your advice for parents related to screen time?
In short: make it count!
Screen time can be worrying for every parent but it’s also an incredible way to learn. No one
wants kids to spend hours a day on their devices but with the right content (like Da Vinci Kids!)
children can make the most of their time, learn something new and have fun.
Take advantage of the special offer: the "Children and Digital Technology" course + Free access to the Da Vinci Kids App for 3 months. See details here.