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Turner digital ventures unit take stake in kids edutainment outfit

Turner International’s Digital Ventures & Innovation (DV&I) group has made an equity investment in Bright Little Labs (BLL), a UK startup that creates and distributes edutainment content for kids.

The funding will be used to fuel BLL international expansion in terms of creative development and distribution.

The investment will enhance BLL’s current offering by leveraging Turner’s expertise in the kids’ space to develop IP which delivers on BLL’s vision to engage, entertain and educate kids about critical thinking, computer science and coding.

Bright Little Labs’ existing edutainment IP centres around Detective Dot from the Children’s Intelligence Agency, a hi-tech spy agency which incorporates the official UK coding curriculum and allows kids to learn in a fun and engaging way.

Christopher Sodergren VP of 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 vice president at DV&I.

“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 utilises 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, 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.”

Turner’s kids’ portfolio includes the Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Boing, Toonami and Cartoonito channels, websites and YouTube channels as well as extensive content production and licensing and merchandising operations.