Moonbug Entertainment Ltd. has acquired two of the world’s most successful kids programs to become the world’s largest digital kids media company: CoComelon, the world’s most-viewed YouTube channel, and live-action program Blippi. The company also announced it has raised $120 million in funding to fuel further growth and make additional acquisitions in future.
Moonbug has built new relationships with 100+ streaming platforms on a local and global scale including Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Sky and Roku and has category-leading viewership on YouTube and Amazon Prime Video. The acquisition of CoComelon and Blippi boosts Moonbug’s monthly subscribers to over 235 million globally, exceeding 7 billion average monthly views on YouTube alone.
“It is a tremendous accomplishment to acquire two of the world’s most loved children’s shows. We are excited to support their continued growth and expand the brands into global entertainment franchises,” said Renè Rechtman, Moonbug co-founder and CEO. “It is a transformational step for our business.”
CoComelon is a kids 3D animation show that has become the world’s most watched YouTube channel, with over 3.5 billion monthly views, not including its category-leading viewership on Netflix. Known for their infectious positivity, Baby JJ and his siblings go about everyday activities and chores with enthusiasm and a sense of fun to help inspire kids at home to do the same. Characters sing catchy songs that model how to constructively interact with the world around them, from cleaning up their toys, to getting ready for bed and eating their vegetables every night.
“At CoComelon we’ve tried to create characters that are adorable, likeable and universally relatable. We think of JJ, YoYo and TomTom as our imaginary kids, and over time, we built a family around them – parents, grandparents, animal friends, school classmates,” said creator Jay Jeon. “And we think a lot about our audience and what they’re going through: growing up, daily challenges, learning new things. Life! We hope they share experiences similar to those of our characters.”
Following its proven strategy, Moonbug plans to also add new characters and storylines that continue CoComelon’s message of joy and positivity, while also introducing new merchandise and toys so families can engage with their favorite characters and themes in new ways. Moonbug will apply its model to grow the show’s already massive reach through new licensing deals and expanding its distribution globally in new languages and on new platforms. It plans to launch a new toy line imminently that will be available to consumers in the coming weeks.
Blippi adds a live-action show to Moonbug’s portfolio that explores the world as seen through the eyes of a child. Tapping into children’s natural curiosity he takes them on a journey of discovery, allowing them to see the world through an educational lens–entertaining along the way. He is a tour guide for doing all the things a toddler wants to do. Blippi’s educational content has translated to a deep connection with his audience and a loyal following of more than 24 million subscribers and 570 million average monthly views. Moonbug will also diversify the show with new characters and expand its successful line of toys, along with apparel and licensing partnerships.
The $120 million financing round was led by Growth Equity (GS Growth), part of Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division, and Fertitta Capital. The Raine Group and Felix Capital participated. Funds will be used for growth and to make additional acquisitions in the continued drive by Moonbug to consolidate the most interesting and popular properties in the kids space.
“We are excited to back Renè, John, and the rest of the Moonbug team as they continue creating the next generation of kids content. Their strong diversified asset portfolio combined with their creative capabilities and platform reach make them a true category leader within the global entertainment industry,” said Nishi Somaiya, Partner at Goldman Sachs, who will join Moonbug’s board of directors.
“We are grateful for the investment from our investors, new and existing,” said Rechtman. “Seeing Moonbug achieve this level of growth to become the world leader in digital kids’ content within two years is a true testament of our and our investors’ dedication to the space. We look forward to the continued success that’s to come through new and existing brands.”