Invisible Universe

LA’s Invisible Universe raises US$12 million for growth

Led by Alexis Ohanian's fund Seven Seven Six, the funding round yield will be used by the LA-based studio to accelerate its strategy of "internet-first IP incubation," building off the success of Qai Qai by Serena Williams.
August 11, 2022

LA-based Invisible Universe has raised US$12 million in a star-studded round of funding that will help the animation studio produce more kids content for its digital-first catalogue.

VC firm Seven Seven Six (co-founded by entrepreneur Alexis Ohanian and former Pixar exec Katelin Halloway) led the funding round, rallying  investments from Cosmic Venture Partners, Dapper Labs, Franklin Templeton, Gaingels, Initialized Capital, Schusterman Family Investments, Wheelhouse, 75 & Sunny, TCG and CASSIUS. Tennis player Serena Williams (Ohanian’s partner) is also an investor, along with actors Jennifer Aniston and Will Smith (through his Dreamers VC firm).

Seeking to build “the Pixar of the internet,” Invisible Universe partners with celebrities to create animated characters, initially launching them on social media, where they connect with fans and build a following. Invisible To date, its characters have amassed more than 8.5 million followers/subscribers across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.

With the US$12-million capital injection, the studio is planning to move its brands into kids content, starting with Qai Qai—a character based on a doll belonging to Williams’s daughter.

Qai Qai first launched on TikTok and Instagram, where it has attracted more than four million total followers. The brand has more recently expanded into YouTube shorts (Qai Qai’s Nursery Rhyme Remix), NFTs (on kid-focused social media platform Zigazoo) and publishing. The Adventures of Qai Qai, penned by Williams and published by Macmillan, targets two- to five-year-olds and is slated to hit retail next month.

Qai Qai has defined a path for their other brands to follow, says Invisible Universe CEO Tricia Biggio. “We’re going to continue to grow our suite of IPs and commercialize current franchises,” she says. “If we’ve done our job right, you’ll see our characters on shelves at your local retailer, in the bookstore, on your favorite streaming platform, or anywhere people consume content.”

Invisible Universe has also partnered with Aniston on Clydeo (the “cousin” to her real-life dog Clyde), and with TikTok influencers/sisters Charli and Dixie D’Amelio to create Squeaky and Roy (a penguin and teddy bear duo inspired by the elder sister’s long-lost childhood toys).

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