On 22 December, Real Business reported that the government’s AngelCoFund made its 50th investment – by supporting mobile OEM OwnFone – and observed some of the companies it had previously backed, one of which was Hopster. Davina McCall is also an existing investor.
The new multi-million funding round is from media investment firm Sandbox Partners Private Limited, and will allow Hopster to add new features, introduce more quality content and continue expanding globally to follow on from an Ireland launch in December. The team will also hire additional staff to support the growth.
Nick Walters, Hopster founder, said, “We had an amazing first year – and it’s great that Sandbox have recognised the huge potential of this space. With their investment on board, we’ll be able to offer more than ever before for families – and we’ve got big plans for new features and international expansion.
“Our expansion to Ireland has beaten our expectations; now we want to increase the pace and deliver an unprecedented experience to families all around the globe.”
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The app was launched in December 2013 and has reached the top of the App Store chart, as UK families have downloaded the title more than 200,000 times, which secured it a Best of 2014 award from Apple. It also runs across selected smart TVs and set-top boxes.
Hopster claims “kids in the UK watch six billion hours of TV every year”, so its concept allows children aged between two and six to access educational content in advertisement-free interactive formats, all of which is U-rated, based on the programmes they view.
The payment model is akin to that of Netflix and Spotify in that parents are charged £3.99 a month to access the content but children won’t be inundated with promotions, while there isn’t a contract in place which means the platform can be cancelled at any time.
Sandbox CEO, Bhav Singh, added: “We are delighted to have been involved with securing this funding for Hopster. Having known Nick and being involved in Hopster from the very start, watching its progression and how he brought a strong team together, it was a no brainer for us, being focused on playing at the intersection of media and learning, that we would start our journey by backing Hopster.”
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