Business Technology

New CTO and Apple TV push to fuel growth for Davina McCall-funded children's education app

3 min read

21 July 2015

Former deputy editor

In a bid to boost international expansion, children's video learning app Hopster has made two senior technical appointments – including the addition of a Made.com executive – and plans to grow its presence on Apple TV.

The December 2013-launched service started off 2015 well as it secured a multi-million pound funding round from media investment firm Sandbox. That sum built on existing backing from government-created Angel CoFund and TV presenter Davina McCall – best known for Big Brother.

It was said the capital would be used to add new features, content and staff – the latter of which has just been bolstered as the company looks to continue scaling. New CTO Chris Brooke, who joins from parenting community Quib.ly, will lead the effort and expand the engineering team and product architecture.

Indeed, Hopster and Quib.ly have a synergy as the former educates children in a fun way through shows including The Gruffalo and Bob the Builder, while the latter is a network through which parents can discuss raising happy and healthy kids.

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Additionally, Made.com CTO Jonathan Howell has been named a technical advisor and will join the company’s board to provide additional guidance on growing consumer products.

The British online furniture store launched in 2010 and three years later it had achieved 100 per cent year-on-year growth and boasted one million unique visitors a month. Seven months after its launch in France, the country accounted for 15 per cent of sales.

More than 350,000 families have embraced Hopster. The service costs £3.99 a month for unlimited access on a contract and ad-free basis, and originally launched on the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

In May, however, the company launched on Apple TV in the UK and the positive responses from parents resulted in further launches in Australia and India. With the new technical support in place, Hopster plans to push into a further 100 countries on Apple’s streaming box.

“The kids VOD space is really heating up, and we’re excited to be leading the charge with everything that’s happening at Hopster HQ,” said Nick Walters, Hopster founder and CEO.

“Providing a brilliant experience across Apple’s mobile devices has been essential to our growth, and bringing it to life on Apple TV offers even better value to Apple families – especially as everything is included in one easy subscription.

“Adding Jonathan and Chris to the team ensures we’ll continue to build on what we started – providing entertaining and educational content that delights kids and parents alike, all across the globe.”