Viacom leads $15M funding round for kids' media brand Pocket.watch

HobbykidsTV YouTube channel (HobbykidsTV)
Viacom is expanding its relationship with Pocket.watch, which includes channels like HobbyKidsTV. (HobbyKidsTV / YouTube)

Kids media brand Pocket.watch closed a new $15 million Series B funding round led by Viacom and other new and existing investors including Greycroft’s Tracker fund and UTA Ventures.

Beside chipping in a strategic investment, Viacom is entering a commercial agreement covering content, advertising and talent with Pocket.watch. The new deal expands on the work Pocket.watch and Viacom have already done together, including Skoogle, a kids sketch comedy show created by and starring Keenan Thompson, for Nickelodeon. Paramount Players has purchased a pitch from pocket.watch for a feature film currently known as The Unboxing Movie. The companies intend to work on a number of content projects over the coming year.

Viacom will also begin packaging pocket.watch branded video inventory with Nickelodeon inventory to boost advertising reach across digital and traditional platforms. The companies will also work to jointly identify up and coming talent and creators.

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Sarah Levy, COO of Viacom Media Networks, will join Pocket.watch’s Founder and CEO Chris M. Williams on the pocket.watch Board with a third Board member to be named by Williams in the coming weeks.

RELATED: Pocket.watch shies away from SVOD service, but promises to build kid-focused YouTube brands

“We started pocket.watch with the understanding that kids today consume entertainment in entirely new ways and in order to reach them, brands have to go to where they are and celebrate the things they love,” said Williams in a statement. “In just a little over a year since pocket.watch’s launch, we’ve seen our business grow exponentially and we are thrilled that a legendary media company like Viacom shares our enthusiasm and chose to lead our Series B and partner with us to help bring our new and powerful approach to audiences around the world.”

“Pocket.watch’s unique and comprehensive approach to celebrating the new digital stars of today makes them an outstanding partner for Nickelodeon and our unmatched connections with kids around the world through video, digital and real-world events.  It’s great to be in business with them and we are excited to be expanding our relationship with such an innovative new media brand,” Levy said in a statement.

Starting next month, Pocket.watch will begin to rollout long-form content featuring their original IP and creator partner brands, will introduce an line of toys and apparel to retailers nationwide, and will debut Watch this Book!, the first in a series of books released under the Pocket.watch Books imprint through Simon Spotlight.

Pocket.watch has raised $21 million since launching in March 2017 and counts 1 billion monthly views across 20 YouTube channels, with a combined subscriber base of over 34 million.

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