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Hopster has announced the completion of new growth capital round led by existing strategic equity investor, Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPTN).
SPTN, whose existing kids brands include POP, Tiny Pop, POP MAX and POP FUN supported Hopster’s growth ambitions with an additional equity investment. The round was also supported by existing investors VentureFounders and the Angel CoFund.
Nick Walters, CEO and founder of Hopster, said: “We created Hopster because we saw technology as an opportunity to make screen-time a win-win for kids and parents. Over the years we’ve stayed faithful to our mission, to help kids learn through the content they love, and our latest investment from Sony Pictures Television Networks is proof that we’re on the right path. We will use our latest funding to keep doing what we pledged: provide a safe, ad-free and nurturing digital environment for preschoolers.”
Kate Marsh, Executive Vice President of Sony Pictures Television’s Western Europe International Networks division said: “We recognise digital is a crucial element to our business, particularly in the kids’ market where tablets are the choice of device for our audience. Investing in Hopster complements our growing kids’ portfolio.”
Founded in 2013 by Nick Walters, the Hopster app has now been installed over 2 million times across connected TV, mobile and tablets. The investment caps a strong year for Hopster, with the last 12 months seeing the company unveil its first original content, take home the award for Best Video Streaming App at the Kidscreen Awards and launch a major new distribution partnership with Amazon Prime Channels.
Sony Picture Television Networks initially took a minority stake in Hopster in October 2016 and holds a seat on the company’s Board. The latest capital injection further demonstrates its commitment to shaping the future of children’s entertainment and responding to changes in consumption habits and technology.
In addition to the kid’s channels POP, Tiny Pop and POP MAX, the SPTN UK channel brands include Sony Movie Channel, Movies4Men, truTV, True Entertainment, True Movies and Sony Crime Channel, as well as music channels including Chart Show TV, The Vault, Starz, Scuzz and Chart Show Hits. Operating across the Sky, Virgin, Freeview and Freesat platforms, SPTN UK boasts a current programming slate that includes top-rated daytime dramas, landmark series, critically acclaimed primetime dramas, comedies and films.
Sony Pictures Television Networks operates branded entertainment channels reaching nearly two billion households around the world. Based in Culver City, Amsterdam, Budapest, London, Madrid, Miami, Milan, Moscow, Mumbai, Munich, Singapore and Tokyo, Sony’s linear and digital networks offer high quality film and television content from Sony Pictures and third-parties, as well as original content commissioned globally and locally. Sony Pictures Television Networks is a division of Sony Pictures Television Inc., a Sony Pictures Entertainment company.