Sony Pictures Television Networks announced it has taken a minority stake in leading preschool SVOD platform Hopster, becoming a strategic equity investor and taking a seat on the Board. The investment complements SPT Networks’ growing kids’ portfolio — particularly strong in the UK, where its linear and AVOD services include POP, Tiny Pop and Kix, cumulatively making up the largest share of the territory’s commercial kids’ Freeview market.
Since it was launched by founder and CEO Nick Walters in December 2013, Hopster has seen exceptional growth and is now available in over 100 countries worldwide, as well as making its debut on Apple TV last year. Hopster is ranked as the #1 grossing preschool kids’ app in 24 countries, with a line-up of hit shows including Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton and DHX Media’s Monster Math Squad and Franny’s Feet.
“We are very excited to have Sony Networks on board and believe that this strategic investment will enable us to take Hopster to the next level,” said Walters. “Our vision is to build an end-to-end kids player and Sony’s global reach, existing kids portfolio, and technology presence makes them the perfect partner. We hope that together we can build on the success of our revolutionary new Apple TV app and recent US launch and establish Hopster as the world’s leading non-linear preschool kids player.”
Hopster’s investment round, which was led by SPT Networks in association with largest existing investor Sandbox Partners, will see the company continue to expand its operations and fuel further investments in content and marketing.