Turner International’s Digital Ventures & Innovation group announced an equity investment in UK-based Bright Little Labs, an early sage company which creates and distributes kids’ edutainment content. The funding will fuel BLL’s international expansion in both creative development and distribution.
“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, EVP, DV&I 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.”
BLL will be able to enhance its current offerings by leveraging Turner’s expertise to develop quality IP which engages, entertains and educates kids about critical thinking, computer science and coding. The shop’s existing property centers on Detective Dot of the hi-tech Children’s Intelligence Agency, and incorporates the official UK coding curriculum to help kids learn in a fun, engaging way.
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 firsthand 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.”
The agreement will also lay the foundation for further leverage across Turner’s wider animation and licensing and merchandising portfolio. Under the deal, 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.
“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,” commented Patricia Hidalgo, Chief Content Officer EMEA & International Kids Strategy for Turner.