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Sony builds on Hopster investment

Preschool SVoD service Hopster has secured a “multimillion-pound” funding round from investors including Sony Pictures Television Networks (SPTN).

Nick Walters

SPTN, whose existing children’s brands include POP, Tiny Pop, POP MAX and POP FUN, took a minority stake in Hopster in October 2016 having already held a seat on the company’s board.

Its latest capital injection, details of which have not been released, will be used to assist Hopster’s growth. The round will also be supported by existing investors VentureFounders and the Angel CoFund.

Hopster was founded in 2013 by Nick Walters and has been installed more than two million times across connected TV, mobile and tablets.

Over the past year, Hopster has unveiled its first original content and launched a distribution partnership with Amazon Prime Channels.

Walters, CEO at 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 SPTN is proof that we’re on the right path.”

Walters said the funding would be used to ensure the service remained “a safe, ad-free and nurturing digital environment for preschoolers.”

Kate Marsh, exec VP of SPT’s Western Europe International Networks division, added: “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.”

SPTN recruited Channel 5’s head of children’s Sarah Muller earlier this year with a remit to work across its UK children’s and youth portfolio.

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