YouTube Kids’ Powerhouse Cocomelon Acquired by Moonbug, Which Raises $120M in New Funding
Cocomelon, the YouTube children’s animated nursery rhymes and songs channel that is one of the platform’s most-viewed channel with over 3.3 billion average monthly views, has been acquired by Moonbug Entertainment.
Moonbug also said it acquired Blippi, a live-action educational show on YouTube that generates more than half a billion average monthly views that feature the eponymous character, created by Stevin John. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.
In addition, London-based Moonbug announced that it has raised $120 million in new financing, bringing it to $265 million to date. The latest funding was led by Growth Equity, part of Goldman Sachs’ Merchant Banking Division, and Fertitta Capital. The Raine Group and Felix Capital also participated. The company said the funds will be used “for growth and to make additional acquisitions in the continued drive by Moonbug to consolidate the most interesting and popular properties in the kids space.”
“It is a tremendous accomplishment to acquire two of the world’s most loved children’s shows. We are excited to support their continued growth and expand the brands into global entertainment franchises,” said Renè Rechtman, Moonbug’s co-founder and CEO. “It is a transformational step for our business.”
With the acquisitions of CoComelon and Blippi, Moonbug’s total monthly subscribers are over 235 million globally and its channels top 7 billion average monthly views on YouTube alone. Moonbug’s first acquisition was Little Baby Bum, a YouTube channel focused on nursery rhymes and kids’ songs, which has sold shows to services including Netflix and Amazon.
“At CoComelon we’ve tried to create characters that are adorable, likeable and universally relatable,” Jay Jeon, creator of Cocomelon, said in a statement. “We think of JJ, YoYo, and TomTom as our imaginary kids, and over time, we built a family around them – parents, grandparents, animal friends, school classmates.”
Cocomelon’s parent company is Irvine, Calif.-based Treasure Studio. The YouTube channel, previously called ABCkidTV and ThatsMEonTV, features 3D animation videos of both traditional nursery rhymes and its own original children’s songs. Netflix recently added three episodes from Cocomelon compiling singalong videos into one-hour segments, and Roku in May added a Cocomelon channel to its platform.
Moonbug plans to also add new characters and storylines that continue Cocomelon’s “message of joy and positivity,” while also introducing new merchandise and toys. Moonbug also plans to grow the show’s reach through new licensing deals and expanding its distribution globally in new languages and on new platforms.
Blippi’s educational content has a loyal following of more than 24 million subscribers across several channels and generates 570 million average monthly views. “Blippi is the most unique and entertaining educational children’s show out there and we are thrilled to welcome him to the Moonbug family,” said Rechtman. Moonbug also plans to diversify Blippi with new characters, expand its line of toys, apparel and licensing partnerships.
Moonbug has partnerships with more than 100 streaming platforms worldwide, including Netflix, Hulu, Apple TV, Sky, Roku, and Amazon Prime Video. The Moonbug portfolio now includes 18 original franchises, representing more than 550 hours of content in 26 languages.