Genius Brands International Raises $4.5 Million in Funding Round Led by Robert Wolf's 32 Ventures
Proceeds Geared towards Powering the Successful Launch of Rainbow Rangers into Consumer Marketplace & Second Season Pre-Production
Series to Debut on Nick Jr. in November 2018, Followed by Extensive 2019 Retail Rollout
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., Aug. 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Genius Brands International, Inc. “Genius Brands” (NASDAQ: GNUS), the global brand management company that creates and licenses multimedia entertainment content for children, today announced that it has successfully raised a $4.5 million investment round of convertible debt. Led by financier Robert Wolf of 32 Ventures, the oversubscribed funding generated strong participation from both existing as well as new investors.
The funding is geared towards driving the success of Genius Brands’ original preschool property, Rainbow Rangers, which is set to hit the marketplace on Monday, November 5, 2018 with its season one (52 x 11’ episodes) debut on Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. and in late spring 2019 via an extensive retail rollout led by toy maker Mattel. The CGI-animated series follows the thrilling rescue-based adventures of seven 9-year-old girls who live on the other side of the rainbow and serve as Earth’s first responders, protecting people, animals, resources, and the natural beauty of our world.
32 Ventures is the private investment arm of 32 Advisors, LLC – a boutique advisory firm serving public and private companies and financial institutions founded by Robert Wolf, former Chairman and CEO of UBS Americas.
“Genius Brands is entering a powerful growth phase as a leader in the children’s entertainment space,” said Robert Wolf of 32 Ventures. “They’re equipped with some of the most unique new entertainment brands for kids and have built a global distribution system that reaches children across their platform of choice. I’m thrilled to lead this investment round at this pivotal and dynamic period of expansion.”
“Our Rainbow Rangers property is poised to become a widely recognized and beloved kids brand – both on screen and on shelves, as we have the support of the #1 rated kids’ network, Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr., and top licensors, like Mattel, ready to unleash product into the consumer market,” commented Andy Heyward, Chairman and CEO, Genius Brands. “We are thrilled that a top former banker and prominent executive such as Robert Wolf shares our enthusiasm for our company and one of our marquee properties, and chose to lead our latest funding round.”
Rainbow Rangers is also gearing up for a highly promising retail rollout, which is set to begin in the U.S. in late spring 2019, continuing through the back-to-school and holiday seasons. Genius Brands has built an impressive, category-leading roster of more than 20 licensing partners for the brand, such as global master toy partner Mattel, Inc. and global master publisher Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group – Imprint. Additional partners include Bentex Group (master apparel), Gershwin Entertainment (live touring), Dynacraft (bikes, trikes, scooters and wagons), Global Brand Group’s American Marketing Enterprises Inc. (sleepwear), Berkshire Fashions (cold weather accessories), Bioworld (bags and backpacks), GBG Socks dba Planet Sox (socks and legwear), Handcraft Manufacturing Corp. (packaged underwear), H.E.R. Accessories (hair and jewelry accessories), Jay Franco and Sons, Inc. (bedding and bath), Kiddieland (foot-to-floor ride-on toys), Kittrich Corp. and Inkology (room décor, stationary and school supplies), Kid Galaxy (bubble toys), T.A.S.T.E. Beauty (health and beauty products), Ceaco Inc. (puzzles), Disguise, Inc. (Halloween costumes) and Spirit Halloween (character costumes and accessories). More than 300 Rainbow Rangers product SKU’s are being manufactured.
Concurrent with its Nick Jr. broadcast debut, the NASDAQ has invited Genius Brands International to host a Rainbow Rangers launch event from New York City's famed Times Square on November 5. The event will be live-streamed and key licensing partners will be present.
Chardan acted as exclusive placement agent for this transaction.
Genius Brands filed an 8K with the SEC on Friday, August 17 announcing the funding.
About Rainbow Rangers
The Rainbow Rangers series follows the thrilling rescue-based adventures of seven 9-year-old girls who serve as Earth’s first responders, protecting people, animals, resources, and the natural beauty of our world. The Rainbow Rangers, who live in the magical land of Kaleidoscopia at the other side of the rainbow, have their own distinctive personalities and superpowers. Whenever there’s trouble for the people or animals of Earth, our seven heroines zoom into action and ride their Spectra Scooters across the rainbow to save the day. Viewers will join them on exciting adventures, but also see them at home having the same daily dramas and hilarities as every preschooler watching the show. And at its heart, Rainbow Rangers is about empowering and encouraging girls to take action and make a difference in their own homes and neighborhoods to improve and safeguard the planet. Every viewer—boys and girls alike—will see themselves in at least one of these strong, unique and empowered Rangers!
Boasting a unique and highly-accomplished team of creators from the animated motion picture world, Rainbow Rangers’ creative development and production team includes: Rob Minkoff (Disney’s The Lion King director), Shane Morris (Disney’s Frozen co-writer), Tim Mansfield and New York Times Bestselling author and Emmy-nominated writer Elise Allen (Dinosaur Train, Lion Guard, Barbie specials), who is serving as head writer and co-creator. Genius Brands’ Chairman and CEO and multiple Emmy-winning producer of more than 5,000 episodes of children's programming Andy Heyward serves as executive producer, with legendary Disney alum Ruben Aquino creating key designs. Aquino is responsible for the design and animation of many of Disney’s most iconic characters from award-winning films including “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Mulan” and “Frozen.”
About Genius Brands International
Headquartered in Beverly Hills, Genius Brands International, Inc. (NASDAQ:GNUS) is a leading global kids media company developing, producing, marketing and licensing branded children’s entertainment properties and consumer products for media and retail distribution. The Company’s “content with a purpose” brand portfolio, which is led by award-winning creators and producers, includes preschool properties Rainbow Rangers for Nick Jr. and Llama Llama for Netflix; award-winning toddler brand, Baby Genius; adventure comedy STEM series, Thomas Edison's Secret Lab; and financial literacy and entrepreneurship series, Warren Buffett's Secret Millionaires Club. The Company’s content catalog also includes the animated series, Stan Lee's Cosmic Crusaders, created with Stan Lee's Pow! Entertainment. Seeing the need to provide kids and parents with a safe viewing environment that offers premium enriching and engaging programming, Genius Brands launched the Genius Brands Network – comprised of Kid Genius Cartoon Channel and Baby Genius TV, as well as an exclusive Kid Genius Cartoons Plus subscription channel on Amazon Prime. The Network channels are available in approximately 80 million U.S. households via a variety of distribution platforms, such as OTT, set top box, internet and mobile. Through licensing agreements with category leading partners, characters from the Company’s properties also appear on a wide range of consumer products for retail. For additional information please visit www.gnusbrands.com.
Forward Looking Statements: Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Words such as "may," "might," "will," "should," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "continue," "predict," "forecast," "project," "plan," "intend" or similar expressions, or statements regarding intent, belief, or current expectations, are forward-looking statements. While the Company believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on any such forward-looking statements, which are based on information available to us on the date of this release. These forward-looking statements are based upon current estimates and assumptions and are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including without limitation those set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), not limited to Risk Factors relating to its patent business contained therein. Thus, actual results could be materially different. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or alter statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
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Released August 22, 2018