Invisible Universe, an internet-first animation studio, announced that the company has raised $12 million in ‘Series A’ funding to launch new animated IP across social media and web3, expand the footprint to new platforms, and further monetise its existing suite of franchises. Seven Seven Six, co-founded by Alexis Ohanian and Katelin Holloway, led the round with participation from Cosmic Venture Partners, Dapper Labs, Franklin Templeton, Gaingels, Initialized Capital, Schusterman Family Investments, Wheelhouse and Spencer Rascoff’s 75 & Sunny.
Additionally, the star-studded cap table includes Serena Williams and Jennifer Aniston along with TCG, CASSIUS and Will Smith’s Dreamers VC.
“We’re seeing the power of can’t-live-without-it-IP and how it’s driving the growth and retention of audiences regardless of the platform and igniting potential for franchise expansions. I saw the Pixar magic up close, and this company is building the same kind of unforgettable IP with an innovative approach that reduces both time and capital while embracing audience feedback,” said Seven Seven Six founding partner and Invisible Universe board member Holloway.
With a model built around internet-first IP incubation, Invisible Universe develops and debuts original animated character franchises on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube in partnership with high-profile celebrities and world-class storytellers and artists. Through its distributed animation studio, the company is behind Qai Qai (Serena Williams’ daughter’s doll brought to life), Squeaky & Roy (the long lost toys of Charlie and Dixie D’Amelio), Clydeo (Jennifer Aniston’s best furry friend and foodie), Ember (the daughter of the devil), and more. Across all accounts, Invisible Universe has over 8.5 million fans and boasts an average of more than 10 per cent engagement rate, demonstrating how the audience’s input not only shapes the storytelling but also builds stronger affinity.
“Invisible Universe has pioneered what it means to launch indelible character IP on the Internet. Our characters have captured the hearts of audiences, made them laugh, and allowed them to feel seen while providing a moment of delight in the timelines of their favourite social platforms. This capital from our incredible investors and partners allows us to seed and grow more IP and to commercialise our franchises at scale. When my two toddlers ask for Qai Qai or Clydeo instead of mainstream favourites, I know we’re building something special,” said Invisible Universe CEO Tricia Biggio.
By leveraging the power and reach of high-growth social media platforms, Invisible Universe has demonstrated a model to popularize IP and then expand the franchise’s media footprint. The company has already expanded Qai Qai, its first breakout success, with a collection of sold-out NFTs on children’s social platform Zigazoo, the launch of Qai Qai’s Nursery Rhyme Remix on YouTube, and the upcoming September release of The Adventures of Qai Qai, Serena Williams’ first-ever children’s book. Next, Invisible Universe will continue to expand its other popular franchises to publishing, TV shows, movies, games, toys and more.
Building off the company’s success of popularizing IP on traditional platforms, Invisible Universe will launch its first web3 franchise, The R3al Metaverse, a community-driven NFT project where holders can influence the storytelling of the animated series, which is a parody of reality TV house-shows. Launching early this fall, the series features animated characters inspired by recognisable NFT projects. Holders of the series Producer Pass NFTs will have a chance to have their NFT characters animated and brought into the series.