HappyNest has closed an equity investment into GoKidGo, an audio company geared towards making content for kids. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The pact gives HappyNest proprietary development rights to adapt short-form and long-form animated series from GoKidGo original characters, including a new original R.L. Stine franchise.
HappyNest is a production company that focuses on kids and family animated projects. It was launched in 2021 as a joint venture between Greg Silverman’s Stampede Ventures and UTA. Silverman is a media veteran who previously oversaw production at Warner Bros.
GoKidGo was founded by bestselling children’s author Patrick Carman, entrepreneur Jennifer Clary, and film and television executive and producer Maia Glikman. GoKidGo’s narrative podcasts are freely accessed. The company has released almost 1,000 episodes to date, and is exceeding 500,000 listens per month as of March 2022. Stine is the mega-selling author of more than 300 books, including the popular “Goosebumps” franchise. His stories have inspired several film and television adaptations, including the “Goosebumps” series, which grossed over $250 million globally, and Netflix’s “Fear Street Trilogy” and Disney+’s “Just Beyond.”
HappyNest will now be investing in GoKidGo’s interconnected story universe, which is situated in the fictional town of Pflugerville. For non-listeners, the denizens of that town include Bobby Wonder the Superhero, Lucy Wow the Inventor, Atlas & Zavia the Underwater Explorers, Ivy the President of R.L. Stine’s Story Club, and Waffle & Martha the Floozie Monsters who live beneath Mr. Snood’s Candy Factory.
HappyNest will also be adapting a series from the GoKidGo’s “Spine Chillers” collection of shows which currently include R.L. Stine’s “Story Club” and “Ivy’s Chilling Tales.”
“There is endless synergy between HappyNest and GoKidGo that we are thrilled about,” said Chris Bosco, president of Stampede Ventures. “Aside from building out the unique GoKidGo properties, we have created a relationship where HappyNest can contribute its concepts on their established platforms and launch new franchises in the growing audio world.”
Sadaf Cohen Muncy, HappyNest’s head of development and production, added “Patrick, Jennifer and Maia have done an incredible job world-building a dynamic group of beloved characters that have captured the hearts and minds of children everywhere. We are excited to bring those stories to a new format and to work with R.L. Stine, one of the greatest authors of all time, in creating a new franchise.”
“We’re excited to welcome HappyNest as an investor and partner,” said Carman, GoKidGo co-founder and chief creative officer. “Creating best-in-class IP with efficiency and innovation is in GoKidGo’s DNA. We share HappyNest’s commitment to young audiences and believe this alliance will empower our team to accelerate production in a thoughtful way.”
The new partners etched out some serious ambitions for their union.
“This is the future of kids and family programming. The relationship could not be a better strategic fit to deliver best in class content and encourage meaningful new audiences in the co-listening audio space,” said Kristin Myers, senior executive in UTA’s Audio division. “These partnerships don’t just result in amazing podcasts…they make the audio industry as a whole stronger.”
The equity deal was negotiated by Chris Bosco from Stampede Ventures, and Ken Deutsch and Omeed Anvar from Latham & Watkins LLP on behalf of HappyNest, and UTA on behalf of GoKidGo and HappyNest.
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