Turner International’s Digital Ventures and Innovation group has inked an equity investment with UK-based start-up Bright Little Labs (BLL), creator and distributer of kids’ edutainment content. The funding will fuel BLL’s international expansion in both creative development and distribution. Turner EVP and DV&I Aksel van der Wal mentioned, “Partnering with relevant start-ups is a core part of our strategy to compete and lead in today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape. 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.” BLL will be able to enhance its current offerings by leveraging Turner’s expertise to develop quality IP which engages, entertains and educates kids about critical thinking, computer science and coding. The shop’s existing property centres on Detective Dot– the hi-tech Children’s Intelligence Agency, which incorporates the official UK coding curriculum to help kids learn in a fun, engaging way. Bright Little Labs CEO Sophie Deen added, “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 is the 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. We’re working to scale our trans-media platform, reaching kids wherever they are, so we can deliver rich, personalised experiences directly to our users. Not only does Turner share our vision, working with Turner means we can leverage their expertise in creating the very best kids content and reach new audiences globally.” The agreement will also lay the foundation for further leverage across Turner’s wider animation and licensing and merchandising portfolio. Under the deal, Turner becomes Bright Little Labs’ main strategic investor and signals its commitment to developing a presence in edutainment. Turner VP for Digital Ventures and DV&I, Christopher Sodergren will take a seat on Bright Little Labs’ board of directors. “Turner shares with Bright Little Labs a passion for engaging kids in a way which is original and immersive. We see multiple opportunities to leverage our kids’ expertise to further develop BLL’s existing business and engage kids in a way that while putting entertainment first also equips them for the skills they need for today’s 21st century world,” Turner chief content officer for EMEA and International Kids Strategy, Patricia Hidalgo commented.