Turner International’s Digital Ventures & Innovation (DV&I) group has made an equity investment in Bright Little Labs, a U.K.-based company that creates and distributes edutainment content for kids.
The funding will be used to drive Bright Little Labs’ international expansion, in terms of both creative development and distribution. Bright Little Labs’ current edutainment IP centers on Detective Dot from the Children’s Intelligence Agency, a hi-tech spy agency that incorporates the official U.K. coding curriculum. The agreement lays the foundation for further leverage across Turner’s animation and L&M portfolio.
With the investment, Turner becomes Bright Little Labs’ main strategic investor. Christopher Sodergren, VP of digital ventures at DV&I for Turner, will take a seat on Bright Little Labs’ board of directors.
“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, executive VP at Digital Ventures & Innovation 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 utilizes 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.”
Sophie Deen, CEO of 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, personalized 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.”
Patricia Hidalgo, chief content officer for EMEA and international kids strategy at Turner, said: “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.”