|Daniel Neal, CEO & Founder, Ben Weintraub, COO & Founder|
|Products||Wireless communication using CDMA|
|Slogan||"The smart phone for kids" “Bridging the Digital Divide in Education”|
Kajeet is a wireless provider operating on the Verizon and Sprint LTE wireless networks. The company serves two distinct, yet parallel, markets: off-campus wireless broadband for school districts and mobile phones & service for kids. The highlights of the service includes cloud-based management tools, CIPA-compliant filtering, mobile device controls, data-usage controls, time-of-day controls, contract-free plans, and the option of GPS location services.
Kajeet was founded by three fathers who wanted to figure out how mobile technology, kids, and parents could work best together and provide a safe mobile experience. The company name, "Kajeet," was derived as an anagram from the names of the founders' children. Two of the original founders still guide the company today: Ben Weintraub, COO, and Daniel Neal, CEO. Kajeet's service was designed around providing safety-conscious families affordable cell phones and prepaid plans(starting 4.99) for their teens, tweens, and young children. In more recent years, Kajeet has taken its patented mobile management technology and provides off-campus, mobile connectivity service to school districts.
Kajeet began offering off-campus mobile broadband service to schools and districts in 2012 and Education Broadband service in 2014. According to multiple sources, on average, one-third of U.S. students do not have adequate Internet access when they leave school. As more and more districts and schools incorporate technology into their curriculum and prepare for state-mandated testing (1-to-1, BYOD, Blended Learning), students are required to work on assignments outside the classroom. A large number of disadvantaged students are finding themselves caught in a widening “digital divide” struggling to keep up with their more affluent peers. According to the Kajeet website, the company provides a “safe, affordable, mobile broadband solution called Education Broadband™ that connects economically disadvantaged students to the Internet outside of school.” The Education Broadband solution, includes a portable Kajeet SmartSpot® and patented filtering and controls that enables school districts to provide CIPA-compliant, education-only filtered Internet access to keeps students focused on school work without worry of data abuse.
Kajeet's service considers the safety of its users in many facets. Mobile downloadable content, such as wallpapers, ring tones, and games are screened to ensure that they are child appropriate. The free parental controls are accessible by parents logging in to their accounts. They are organized into five different managers.
The Feature Manager allows parents to determine whether their child's phone can use certain features. Parents can disable the use of picture messaging, to prevent problematic issues such as sexting. Downloadable content can be turned off, to prevent users from purchasing ring tones and games without permission. Mobile web access can be granted or denied, as well as specific sites, such as those that are not free to access, or social media websites. Feature manager can also allow child access to the GPS location services, in the event that they should lose their phone.
The Time Manager allows account holders to control when a Kajeet phone can and cannot be used; for example, the phone can be scheduled to not make or receive calls during school hours. These restrictions can be set up in minimum 30 min blocks, any times and days of the week.
The Contact Manager provides the ability to create black and white lists for numbers that parents do and do not want coming in or going out on their child's phone. This contact manager also allows the phone to reach certain numbers at all times, even during scheduled "off" times, for cases of emergency. Kajeet phones are also allowed to call 911 and Kajeet customer care at any time, free of charge. In addition, all 1-900 numbers are always blocked.
The Wallet Manager gives parents the opportunity to add dollars to their child's account, whether it is incorporated as a reward system for good behavior, allowing the child to purchase games and ring tones, or as a tool to teach responsibility. This feature allows parents to add money to their child's account on either a recurring or single time basis.
The GPS Phone Locator makes use of Kajeet's location-based service, which can be activated at any time by the parent, at a low monthly cost. The GPS locator is one of the more alluring parental feature, as it has proven useful to many families in the cases of children skipping school, losing their phones, having their purses stolen, or even going somewhere forbidden.
Kajeet has won several parenting awards for its unique cell phone service. This list of awards includes:
- Parent Tested, Parent Approved Media Inc., Seal of Approval - 2008
- National Parenting Publication Awards, Honors Award Winner - 2009
- iParenting Media, Excellence Award - 2009
- Mom's Choice Awards, Gold in Gear and Accessories - 2010
- On March 19, 2007, Kajeet launched a presence in Whyville, the virtual world for kids, sponsoring a "Chat Factory" in the Whyville Mall. In May 2007, the kajeet-Whyville relationship was presented as a case study in online marketing to kids at the Kid Power 2007 conference in Orlando, Florida.
- In mid-March 2007, Kajeet officially announced its retail launch in Best Buy and Limited Too stores, and in April began selling in Long's Drugs stores on the west coast.
- In early April 2007, Kajeet began running its first television commercial on Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and other kid-specific broadcast outlets.
- On May 16, 2007, Kajeet was featured in "Marketing Cell Phones to Kids," part of a five-part CBS News report on marketing to kids.
- In June 2007, Kajeet launched "Dudemail", an e-mail application featuring customizable versions of the six animated characters that includes a text-to-speech component. The company was also singled out by Best Buy in their 2007 Corporate Responsibility Report.
- By October 2007, Kajeet had secured phone and refill card distribution not only in Best Buy, Limited Too and Longs Drugs, but also in Target, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Amazon CVS and Rite Aid locations. The company moved quickly in the wake of Disney Mobile's announcement that it was shutting down in December 2007 by offering a $50 service credit to Disney Mobile users who switch their number to the Kajeet service.
- Kajeet was named one of five companies to watch by The National Venture Capital Association, a trade association that represents the U.S. venture capital industry, in its 2005–2006 Year in Review. In September 2007, kajeet announced the securing of $36.8 million in series-B venture capital funding.
- In May 2009, MTV Networks filed an $11.6 million lawsuit against Kajeet, accusing it of using content without permission and failing to follow through on a ring-tone licensing deal.
- In August 2010, Kajeet won nearly $81 million in damages over student-loan auction rate securities UBS financial Services sold to the company.
- In September 2013, Kajeet began offering off-campus, CIPA-compliant mobile Internet connectivity to school districts who, in turn, provide the service to their economically disadvantaged students.
- In July of 2014, Kajeet launched “Education Broadband™” service to help solve the issue of “the digital divide” and made it available to more than 13,000 school districts.
- Cole, Wendy (2007-02-16). "Cell Phones for the SpongeBob Set". TIME Magazine.
- "Calling All Kids". TIME Magazine. 2007-03-01.
- "Marketing Cell Phones to Kids". CBS News. 2007-05-16.
- "Eye To Eye - Kids Go Mobile". CBS News. 2007-05-16.
- "MTV Sues Wireless Provider Kajeet Over Content Deal (Update1)". Bloomberg. May 22, 2009.
- Moms Choice Award, March 10, 2010
- C|Net review, April 19, 2007
- Prepaid Reviews: Interview with kajeet CEO and Founder Daniel Neal, September 24, 2007