UK-based The Coolabi Group plans to grow its portfolio through original content and strategic acquisitions, thanks to US$14 million in new funding from UK bank, Santander Corporate & Commercial.
Beyond supporting a long-term growth strategy that will include investment in digital apps and the production of original content as well as acquisitions, the new funding will allow Coolabi to refinance existing debt. In the past, the company has had success with digital ventures including the Beast Quest gaming app, which has garnered more than 10 million downloads.
Coolabi specializes in the creation, development and brand management of children’s IP including Clangers (pictured) and Scream Street. It currently owns more than 20 TV series, which have aired in 140 territories on broadcasters such as ABC, Cartoon Network, CBBC CBeebies, Disney, Netflix and Nickelodeon.
In addition to TV, the prodco also creates original fiction series for publishers including 100 series consisting of 1,500 books that are sold in more than 40 languages. Among the most popular are Warriors, Beast Quest, Animal Ark and Rainbow Magic, which have all sold more than 10 million copies each.
Recently, Coolabi has been ramping up its licensing efforts for Clangers, joining forces with UK-based online gift retailer Getting Personal to produce a customized gift range inspired by the series as well as entering the adult apparel market with a range of fan-chosen t-shirts with Fashion UK. In addition, the popular UK series was recently adapted from TV for radio with 10 episodes from the first season airing on CBeebies Radio. Clangers, which was rebooted in June 2015 after an original series run between 1969 and 1972, airs on CBeebies in the UK and on Sprout and Netflix in the US. The toon’s second season is currently in production.