Spin Master has established Spin Master Ventures, which aims to use strategic minority investments to help grow each of the company’s three creative centers — toys, entertainment, and digital games.
“We’ve always stayed true to our entrepreneurial DNA based on innovation, openness to ideas, partnerships, and pushing boundaries,” said Ronnen Harary, Spin Master’s co-founder and board chair. “The pace of innovation within the toys, entertainment, and digital games industries is accelerating rapidly and by investing with a long-term view in leading ventures with promising ideas, we can increase our access to potentially game-changing thinking and concepts. Spin Master Ventures will establish us as the partner of choice for entrepreneurs looking for capital to start and grow a business in the kids’ space and will complement our acquisition strategy as well as bolster our product development pipeline.”
Spin Master is initially allocating $100 million in existing internal resources to SVM. The investment mandate will focus on emerging technologies, services, and other areas where Spin Master can strengthen its offerings. SVM will comprise minority investments in early-stage companies, as well as growth capital for emerging businesses with proven product and market fit.
The company has kicked off the initiative with investments in two companies, Nørdlight and Hoot Reading. Nørdlight is a Stockholm-based mobile game developer, with experience running the prototype team at King.com as well as leading art and technology for digital game titles, including Candy Crush Saga. Nørdlight will help Spin Master to accelerate its strategy of monetizing its own digital gaming IP.
Hoot Reading is an online tutoring service that connects students with teachers for reading lessons via video chat. Headquartered in Canada, the service used by students and teachers throughout North America.
Right now, SVM’s investments are North America and Europe-centric, but Spin Master plans to expand the focus of the initiative globally.
“Establishing Spin Master Ventures enables Spin Master to work with extraordinary companies and teams, providing them with capital and access to our deep knowledge and expertise to drive their ideas and businesses forward,” said Spin Master co-founder and director Anton Rabie. “Spin Master Ventures aims to become the ultimate partnership generator, a tool for widening the company’s networks, knowledge, and relationships. By partnering with these entrepreneurs, we can bolster our leadership position within the children’s entertainment industry.”