Sandbox & Co. is amalgamating two of its banners, preschool SVOD Hopster and early learning app Curious World, into a single business in order to bolster Hopster’s portfolio of educational content and broaden its kids market presence.
Under the new structure, the companies will operate as a single division, though both will maintain their brand identities. Collectively, the two companies now have more than five million downloads and 500,000 subscribers worldwide. Adding Curious World to Hopster’s portfolio is the first step for Sandbox’s strategy to aggregate its preschool banners under the SVOD. No layoffs have been announced as part of the merger.
Curious World is a subscription-based learning app for two to sevens that hosts short-form videos, interactive games, books and exclusive Curious George content. During the pandemic, it grew its catalogue with videos about art, simple science experiments and basic daily tasks like making breakfast to supplement kids’ at-home education.
The merger follows a year of changes at Hopster. CEO Nick Walters departed the company he founded in August, and was replaced by Miki Chojnacka and Tyrell Ellis, who now share the CEO role. In November 2019, Sandbox became a majority stockholder in Hopster, adding it to a roster of educational brands that includes Tinybop, Poptropica, CoolMathGames and Funbrain. Since then, Hopster has ordered new short-form content about the environment, diversity and inclusion, and staying healthy during the pandemic.