Pearson Sells Family Education Network to Sandbox Partners
May 21, 2015
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LONDON / BOSTON: Sandbox Partners announced today the acquisition of “edutainment” network FEN (Family Education Network) from Pearson, the world’s leading learning company. FEN has one of the largest integrated digital audiences of children, parents and teachers totaling 25 million visits per month.
Poptropica, one of FEN’s key properties, is a globally leading children’s online world, with over 3.2 million monthly unique users in 200 countries and territories. Aimed at six to 15 year olds, it was created in 2007 by world-renowned children’s author Jeff Kinney, best known for his Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, who remains at Poptropica as creative director.
Sandbox Partners invests in companies at the intersection of the digital, learning and media industries, and has a long track-record of transforming and scaling business and brands internationally. Sandbox differentiates itself by providing long-term strategic and operational support to businesses, making investments in complementary content, platforms and brands in order to build a sustainable ecosystem.
Bhav Singh, Founder & CEO of Sandbox Partners commented: “Engaging digital media and informal learning for kids are spaces we are hugely passionate about, so FEN was a clear choice. There is massive potential in the kids’ edutainment space, especially in game-based learning, and we’re excited about growing FEN together with Jeff Kinney’s creative guidance and Jess Brallier’s leadership, and helping to bring the brands to new markets.”
Jeff Kinney, author of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and creative director at Poptropica, said: “It’s a big day for Family Education Network and I’m proud to be part of this next chapter. The Sandbox team truly understands the informal learning space, what kids want, and how important it is to reach out to parents and teachers at the same time. They will support us with establishing Poptropica as a consumer storytelling brand for all media, languages, territories, and delivery devices, for generations to come, and I’m delighted that in time we’ll be seeing the stories and characters from FEN brought to life on the big screen.”
In addition to Poptropica, Family Education Network comprises leading destinations for parents, teachers and students such as Funbrain, Funbrain Jr., Infoplease, Teacher Vision, Fact Monster, and FamilyEducation.
Sandbox Partners’ most recent investment was UK-based edtech company Hopster, a TV and learning app for children, named by Apple as one of the best apps of 2014. The fast-growing company recently launched on Apple TV allowing customers to seamlessly move among iPhone, iPad and large screen TV. Sandbox also provided Hopster support in its recent international expansion initiative.
About Sandbox Partners and Sandbox & Co.
Sandbox Partners is an industry-focused investor committed to building and supporting businesses at the intersection of the digital, learning and media sectors. Founded in 2014, the partners of Sandbox have a long track-record of acquiring, transforming and scaling businesses and brands internationally for multinationals including Viacom, P&G and Pearson.
Sandbox Partners invests globally, seeking companies with a proven product, strong operating team and potential to scale. Its flexible investment mandate includes minority stakes in high growth businesses, as well as controlled acquisitions, such as FEN, and partnerships with larger brands seeking international exposure.
For more information visit Sandbox & Co www.sandboxandco.com, the London-based representative of Sandbox Partners Inc.
Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, providing educational materials and services, and business information through the Financial Times Group. Pearson serves learners of all ages around the globe, employing 40,000 people in more than 70 countries. For more information, visit www.pearson.com.
Pearson will continue to use the Poptropica characters for its English language learning products.
Source: PE Hub