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Lunar X acquires Spain’s Sunnyside Up Studios following YouTube success

Alejandro San Agustin and Elias Moreno

European media firm Lunar X has acquired Madrid-based animation outfit Sunnyside Up Studios, led by two former execs at YouTube and Amazon, as part of its strategy to invests in digital-first content.

Sunnyside Up Studios was co-founded by Elias Moreno, a former strategic partner manager at YouTube, and Alejandro San Agustin, previously a country lead at Amazon’s Prime Video Channels, who also served as a technology manager at YouTube.

The acquisition, financial details of which were not disclosed, comes after Sunnyside Up grew the reach of its animated properties The Moonies, Groovy the Martian and Superzoo on YouTube. Lunar X now aims to turn the shows into “globally loved franchises.”

The YouTube channels for the shows have nearly 20 million subscribers between them, according to Sunnyside Up. Their acquisition will also help Lunar X build its presence in the kids and family entertainment space.

Lunar X, which recently acquired YouTube content creation group Theorist, operates from Berlin, London, Madrid and LA. It was founded by entrepreneur Lucas Kollmann, who has appeared on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.

Its team includes Rachel Taylor, senior VP of commercial, who joined Lunar X from WildBrain Spark, where she was VP of commercial. Taylor has also held senior leadership roles at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox.

It also includes Rafi Nizam, senior VP, showrunner and executive producer, who leads the story and IP development team to create scripted series and content for all ages. He has 25 years of experience in the media and entertainment industry and has previously held senior creative roles at Sony Pictures Entertainment, NBCUniversal and the BBC.

Kollmann, CEO and co-founder of Lunar X, said: “The talented team at Sunnyside Up Studios have created successful and growing digital-first animated shows with enormous potential.

“Together we have a great opportunity to invest in bringing more loved characters and stories to life through a growing animated content slate and consumer products.”

Moreno, CEO of Sunnyside Up, said: “For over six years we have been passionate about producing the highest quality shows and content for families and children. To find a partner like Lunar X to help us continue pursuing that goal is amazing. With the support of Lunar X’s strategic vision and investment into high-quality storytelling, we can continue to elevate our shows to reach even bigger audiences.”

San Agustin, president of the company, said: “This success would not have been possible without the relentless effort and creativity of the Sunnyside team. We are thrilled that Lunar X will provide a path for the team of incredible Spanish talent to develop and shine under an international media group with the right resources.”

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