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Moonbug & VaynerWatt To Co-Create Animated Series Based On VeeFriends Franchise

EXCLUSIVE: CoComelon owner Moonbug Entertainment is looking to emerging production studio VaynerWatt for its next kids and family franchise.

The companies have struck a strategic partnership deal and will work together to create a 2D-animated series for kids aged 6-11 called VeeFriends, which is based on Vaynerchuk’s existing kids franchise of the same name. It will launch on YouTube in September, with Candle Media-owned Moonbug and VaynerWatt both attached.

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VaynerWatt co-founder Gary Vaynerchuk created VeeFriends, which is billed as a “contemporary entertainment company” focused on collectibles, events, games and technology based around characters who aim to make soft skills cool.

The series will be set in the VeeFriends universe, which features a collection of larger-than-life VeeFriends characters such as Gratitude Gorilla, Quick Quail and Clever Crocodile who will compete in the VeeDome, the “ultimate over-the-top challenge arena, to battle out the biggest issues facing tweendom today.” Every character who goes into the VeeDome comes out “a little stronger and a lot more self-aware.”

As we revealed last year, angel investor and internet marketing expert Vaynerchuk teamed with former CAA agent and Wheelhouse exec Eric Wattenberg and Matt Higgins, who co-founded investment firm RSE Ventures with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen M. Ross and appeared on Shark Tank, to launch VaynerWatt.

“I built VeeFriends in order to help change the world through dynamic characters that were both virtuous and entertaining, engaging and enlightening,” said Vaynerchuk. “I am excited to work with Candle Media and Moonbug Entertainment, which share many of the same core values, to expand this franchise for new platforms and audiences.”

“Our companies share a vision to contribute to the development and enrichment of the next generation, which naturally allows for a strong partnership,” said said René Rechtman, Co-Founder and CEO, Moonbug. “The VeeFriends characters and universe that Gary and his team have created will make a strong foundation for an engaging show, which our team is excited to develop.”

Candle Media bosses Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs added in a statement that VaynerWatt had “built an innovative, inspiring, digitally-native storyworld, which has galvanized a deeply engaged community around characters that espouse positive values

Episodes will begin in late summer as three-minute shorts on YouTube. Moonbug’s money-spinning kids franchises Cocomelon and Blippi both built their fantasies through short videos on the Google platform before expanding into other areas such as licensing and merchandizing, streaming music and live events.

Candle, which is backed by investment capital from funds managed by private equity biz Blackstone, bought Moonbug for around $3B in 2021. Since then, Moonbug continued to grow its Cocomelon, Blippi and Little Baby Bum brands into some of the biggest digital media pre-school brands, and is this month launching Disney TV series Morphle and the Magic Pets.

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