Genius Brands International has raised a $4.5 million investment round of convertible debt. Led by financier Robert Wolf of 32 Ventures, the oversubscribed funding generated strong participation from both existing and new investors. The funds will drive the success of Genius Brands’ original preschool animation property, Rainbow Rangers, which is set to launch Season 1 (52 x 11’) on Nick Jr. on Monday, November 5 — and an extensive retail rollout led by Mattel in late spring 2019.
32 Ventures is the private investment arm of 32 Advisors LLC, a boutique advisory firm serving public and private companies and financial institutions, founded by Wolf (former Chairman & CEO of UBS Americas.
“Genius Brands is entering a powerful growth phase as a leader in the children’s entertainment space,” said Wolf. “They’re equipped with some of the most unique new entertainment brands for kids and have built a global distribution system that reaches children across their platform of choice. I’m thrilled to lead this investment round at this pivotal and dynamic period of expansion.”
The CGI-animated Rainbow Rangers series follows the thrilling rescue-based adventures of seven 9-year-old girls who live on the other side of the rainbow and serve as Earth’s first responders, protecting people, animals, resources, and the natural beauty of our world.
“Our Rainbow Rangers property is poised to become a widely recognized and beloved kids brand – both on screen and on shelves, as we have the support of the #1 rated kids’ network, Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr., and top licensors, like Mattel, ready to unleash product into the consumer market,” commented Andy Heyward, Chairman and CEO, Genius Brands. “We are thrilled that a top former banker and prominent executive such as Robert Wolf shares our enthusiasm for our company and one of our marquee properties, and chose to lead our latest funding round.”
On the licensing roster of more than 20 category-leading partners are global master toy partner Mattel, global master publisher Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group – Imprint, Bentex Group (master apparel), Gershwin Entertainment (live touring), Dynacraft (bikes, trikes, scooters and wagons), Global Brand Group’s American Marketing Enterprises Inc. (sleepwear), Berkshire Fashions (cold weather accessories), Bioworld (bags and backpacks), GBG Socks dba Planet Sox (socks and legwear), Handcraft Manufacturing Corp. (packaged underwear), H.E.R. Accessories (hair and jewelry accessories), Jay Franco and Sons, Inc. (bedding and bath), Kiddieland (foot-to-floor ride-on toys), Kittrich Corp. and Inkology (room décor, stationary and school supplies), Kid Galaxy (bubble toys), T.A.S.T.E. Beauty (health and beauty products), Ceaco Inc. (puzzles), Disguise, Inc. (Halloween costumes) and Spirit Halloween (character costumes and accessories). More than 300 Rainbow Rangers product SKU’s are being manufactured.
Concurrent with its Nick Jr. broadcast debut, the NASDAQ has invited Genius Brands International to host a Rainbow Rangers launch event from New York City’s Times Square on November 5. The event will be live-streamed and key licensing partners will be present.
Chardan acted as exclusive placement agent for this transaction.
Genius Brands filed an 8K with the SEC on Friday, August 17 announcing the funding.