Edutainment Company Bright Little Labs Makes Deal With Turner International For Equity Investment

Edutainment Company Bright Little Labs Makes Deal With Turner International For Equity Investment

Edutainment Company Bright Little Labs Makes Deal With Turner International For Equity Investment

Today (7th June), Turner International’s Digital Ventures and Innovation division has announced they have made an equity investment in Bright Little Labs (BLL), a UK based company that specialises, creates and distributes edutainment (educational entertainment) content for kids. The extra funding from Turner in exchange for equity will help with Bright Little Labs’ international expansion as well as the creation and distribution of new educational content, this includes topics covering critical thinking, computer science and computer coding.

The equity deal is also Turner’s Digital Ventures & Innovations’s first investment into the edutainment sector. The education material is also inline with the UK’s national curriculum for coding and is supported by the British Government’s Cabinet Office. BLL uses a cartoon character called Detective Dot to teach kids about coding. The character – Detective Dot is a tech-whizz who is on a dangerous mission from the Children’s Intelligence Agency (CIA). BLL is also a recipient of a EDF Stem Pulse Award (awarded in 2017) and was named ‘Top Coding Toy for Kids’ by UK national newspaper – The Independent in 2017 and by London’s Evening Standard newspaper in 2018.

As part of the agreement, BLL will be able to make use of Turner’s animation, licensing and merchandising portfolio, which includes animated properties from Cartoon Network, and it will also be possible to form collaborations with Turner’s kids channels which include Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Boing, Toonami and Cartoonito.

From The Turner International Press Release: Turner International and Bright Little Labs Sign Strategic Equity Investment

– Investment marks Digital Ventures & Innovation group’s first entry into the edutainment space.

– Turner provides funding and kids creative expertise to power Bright Little Labs’ international growth as innovator in the kids coding and life skills space.

Turner International’s Digital Ventures & Innovation (DV&I) group today announces an equity investment in Bright Little Labs (BLL), a UK-based early stage company which creates and distributes edutainment content for kids.

The funding will be used to fuel Bright Little Labs’ international expansion in terms of both creative development and distribution.

The investment will enhance BLL’s current offering by leveraging Turner’s expertise in the kids’ space to develop quality IP which delivers on Bright Little Labs’ vision to engage, entertain and educate kids about critical thinking, computer science and coding.

Bright Little Labs’ existing edutainment IP centres around Detective Dot from the Children’s Intelligence Agency, a hi-tech spy agency which incorporates the official UK coding curriculum and allows kids to learn in a fun and engaging way.

The agreement will also lay the foundation for further leverage across Turner’s wider animation and licensing and merchandising portfolio.

The investment means that Turner becomes Bright Little Labs’ main strategic investor and signals its commitment to developing a presence in edutainment. Christopher Sodergren VP Digital Ventures, DV&I for Turner will take a seat on Bright Little Labs’ board of directors.

“Partnering with relevant start-ups is a core part of our strategy to compete and lead in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape,” said Aksel van der Wal, Executive Vice President, Digital Ventures & Innovation for Turner. “We saw in Bright Little Labs the opportunity to expand a great concept into an international multiplatform D2C offering, in a way that fully embraces and utilises our expertise in kids, speaks to our desire to create new fan-centric experiences and aligns us with a like-minded partner. It also serves as a great platform for our ambitions to do more in the kids D2C space.”

Sophie Deen, CEO, Bright Little Labs, said: “We’re beyond excited to be partnering with Turner in the next phase of our journey. In a world of post-truth, job-automation and internet enabled teddy bears that could be snooping on you, digital literacy and critical thinking are key. It’s imperative that all children, regardless of their background, have access to these 21st century skills and we’ve seen first-hand that a hi-tech spy agency with empowering role models like Detective Dot is a great way to achieve this. We’re working to scale our transmedia platform, reaching kids wherever they are, so we can deliver rich, personalised experiences directly to our users. Not only does Turner share our vision, working with Turner means we can leverage their expertise in creating the very best kids content and reach new audiences globally.”

Patricia Hidalgo, Chief Content Officer EMEA & International Kids Strategy for Turner, said: “Turner shares with Bright Little Labs a passion for engaging kids in a way which is original and immersive. We see multiple opportunities to leverage our kids’ expertise to further develop BLL’s existing business and engage kids in a way that while putting entertainment first also equips them for the skills they need for today’s 21st century world.”

Turner’s kids’ portfolio includes the Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Boing, Toonami and Cartoonito channels, websites and YouTube channels as well as extensive content production and licensing and merchandising operations.

The investment in BLL follows DV&I’s stake in Copa90 in February 2017. DV&I has also launched gaming service Gloud and movie streaming service FilmStruck internationally since forming just under 18 months ago to focus on D2C opportunities executed through innovation, in-house development or acquisition.

About Digital Ventures & Innovation

Digital Ventures & Innovation (DV&I), is part of Turner International. Turner International operates versions of Turner brands including CNN, TNT and Cartoon Network across the world, whilst also focusing on digital-only brands. DV&I drives innovation, develops new revenue streams and is responsible for managing and growing Turner’s existing multi-platform suite of international products and services on the web, for smart phones, games, apps and OTT. It is responsible for Turner International’s Data strategy and it develops new digital direct-to-consumer businesses and consumer-centric products. These include the recent UK launch of FilmStruck, a new premium movie streaming service expertly curated by film lovers for film lovers, and GLOUD, a cloud-based gaming service available in Latin America. The group is also charged with identifying new opportunities for Turner through technological product innovation and acquisitions. Technology and operations (T&O) for Turner International is also part of DV&I.

About Bright Little Labs

Bright Little Labs is building a kids media giant for the 21st century. They make interactive stories to promote critical thinking, computer science and equality for kids aged 5+. Their flagship story is about Detective Dot, a tech-whizz who is on a dangerous mission from the Children’s Intelligence Agency (CIA). The company provides a lo-fi and accessible route into coding, with kids joining the CIA to complete STEM-focused ‘missions’ on and offline which complement the UK Computing Curriculum. Starting on Kickstarter in 2016, Bright Little Labs was part of the Cabinet Office backed, tech-for-good accelerator Bethnal Green Ventures. They now have users in over 30 countries and are widely recognised for their story-led approach to 21st Century skills (recipient of EDF Stem Pulse Award 2017, named ‘Top Coding Toy for Kids’ by The Independent in 2017 and the Evening Standard in 2018). Their founder and CEO, Sophie Deen, is an active advocate for diversity in kids’ media and in the tech industry. She has been named one of Computer Weekly’s ‘Most influential women in UK IT’ 2017, Barclays/Everywoman ‘Startup Founder of the Year’ 2017, the British Interactive Media Association’s ‘Innovator’ in 2017 and London Tech Week ‘Changemaker’ in 2018 for her work to inspire children into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).

http://www.turner.com/pressroom/turner-international-and-bright-little-labs-sign-strategic-equity-investment

Turner Asia-Pacific Buys Minority Stake In POPS Worldwide

Turner Asia-Pacific Buys Minority Stake In POPS Worldwide

Turner Asia-Pacific Buys Minority Stake In POPS Worldwide

Today (22/06/2017), Turner Asia-Pacific has announced that they have acquired a minority stake in POPS Worldwide, an entertainment company which operates the Boomerang Vietnam YouTube channel and distributes Boomerang’s content via its POPS Kids mobile app, and operates a wide network of YouTube channels. POPS Worldwide is among the most successful digital entertainment companies in Asia, the company launched Boomerang Vietnam on POPS Kids’ non-linear platforms in April 2016, offering full episodes of a wide range of animated shows including Tom and Jerry, Ben 10, The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends and Scooby-Doo! all dubbed in the Vietnamese language.

https://www.regularcapital.com/2016/04/boomerang-video-demand-service-launch-vietnam/

POPS operates a slate of branded premium channels and has a total of 1,210 YouTube channels in its network, with a total of 32 million subscribers, 40 billion total views and two billion views every month. POPS Worldwide manages Vietnam’s top YouTube channel, POPS Music, (3.3 million subscribers, 3.6 billion lifetime views) and Vietnam’s top edutainment channel, POPS Kids, (1.4 million subscribers, 1.7 billion lifetime views). Recently, POPS has also expanded into other platforms including Dailymotion and Facebook as well as its own POPS Kids app.

Turner’s investment in POPS Worldwide follows investments in other digital media companies, including in investment in Bigballs Media, its parent company’s (Time Warner) 10% stake in Hulu and cooperating with its sister company – Warner Bros. to run the Boomerang streaming service in the United States.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1psboQLDVCEOD46RNPZdgg/featured

From The Turner Asia-Pacific Press Release: Turner Asia-Pacific Makes Investment In Leading Vietnamese Entertainment Company, POPS Worldwide

Turner Asia Pacific has announced an investment in POPS Worldwide (POPS) which sees Turner take a significant minority stake in the leading Vietnamese digital media and creator network.

This investment represents an opportunity for Turner to participate in the rapid growth of one of Asia’s most successful digital entertainment companies, reaching new audiences and further extending its existing partnership with POPS. Turner’s Boomerang brand launched in Vietnam in April 2016 on POPS Kids non-linear platforms – offering kids some of the best-loved international animations dubbed in Vietnamese.

“With its unique proposition, POPS has shown to be very adept at attracting and engaging audiences with its local content and creator network, and this agreement allows Turner to venture into this growing side of the business,” commented Ricky Ow, President of Turner Asia Pacific. He added: “Our investment is part of Turner’s desire to place fans and consumers at the very core – to reach and engage them with branded content and playlists – as well as target diverse demographics in new ways. With a surge of video-on-demand viewing in both Vietnam and Southeast Asia, these are exciting times for two companies that share a very similar culture of innovation.”

Since launching its digital video network business in late 2011, POPS has doubled its annual views each year and recently surpassed 40 billion lifetime views. Other key performance highlights include:

· Monthly views: more than 2 billion
· YouTube network subscribers: 32 million
· Channels under management: 1,210
· Lifetime watch-hours: 4 billion
· Social media fans across Facebook, Instagram and Zalo: 4 million
(accurate as of June 14, 2017)

Esther Nguyen, Founder and CEO of POPS Worldwide, added: “We are excited to have Turner come on board. Using this investment, we can supercharge our ambitious vision to lead digital entertainment in Southeast Asia. We plan to expand our network onto more mobile and non-traditional platforms, invest heavily in content production and open new markets. Over the past year, we have been working closely with Turner on their Kids content. Through this journey, we realised that we share the same vision of the future of entertainment. Our work with Turner led to the successful YouTube launch of Boomerang Vietnam and popular Boomerang programming on POPS Kids. For the first time in Vietnam, full episodes of classic properties like Tom and Jerry, Ben 10, The Powerpuff Girls and Scooby-Doo were available for our audiences online. Though we started working together in the Kids business, we now look forward to broadening our content partnership even wider.”

In addition to actively managing a strong partner channel network, POPS operates a slate of branded premium channels. The POPS team created and manages Vietnam’s top YouTube channel, POPS Music, (3.3m subscribers, 3.6b lifetime views) and Vietnam’s top edutainment channel, POPS Kids, (1.4m subscribers, 1.7b lifetime views). Most recently, POPS expanded its video network reach to include Daily Motion and Facebook, as well as launching a new POPS Kids app for mobile users.

Working with over 1,700 content partners on over 1,200 network channels, POPS has successfully partnered with domestic, regional and international content partners. With a proven expertise in launching content locally in Vietnam, POPS has content partners that include digitally-savvy musicians, entertainers and comedians as well as traditional TV studios, local and regional production houses and media companies including Discovery Networks, UUUM, Digital Hollywood and Collab.

About POPS Worldwide

Founded in 2007, POPS Worldwide is a leading multi-platform, multi-channel digital entertainment producer and distributor fully positioned to capture the attention of today and tomorrow’s viewers in Southeast Asia. Based in Ho Chi Minh City with offices in Bangkok and Hanoi, POPS is building the most robust video network in the region and reaches a global audience of over 2.2B monthly views, 4B watch-hours and 32M network subscribers.

To learn more visit: http://www.popsww.com