Sony Pictures Television Networks has taken a minority stake in pre-school SVOD platform, Hopster.
The firm has become a strategic equity investor and will be taking a seat on the company’s board.
Launched in December 2013 by Nick Walters, Hopster is now available in over 100 countries worldwide and made its debut on Apple TV last year. The service is ranked as the top grossing pre-school kids’ app in 24 countries and boasts local shows including Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton and DHX Media’s Monster Math Squad and Franny’s Feet.
“With our POP, Tiny Pop and Kix channels, Sony is one of the top kids broadcasters in the UK," said Kate Marsh, executive vice president, Western Europe, International Networks.
"Investing in Hopster offers us an advantage in the fast-growing subscription kids’ space, and is a real opportunity to increase our on-demand services, working with the Hopster team to grow digital scale alongside our linear channels.”
Hopster CEO and founder Nick Walters added: “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.
"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 pre-school kids player.”
Hopster’s investment round, led by SPT Networks in association with Sandbox Partners, will see the company expand its operations and fuel further investments in content and marketing.