The partnership will accelerate the global growth of the expansion of anime content and other live-action series for GenZ. “It also marks a major milestone in the shared visions of both media titans to further expand SEA audiences for Japanese content,” reads the LinkedIn post of Pops Worldwide.
Esther Nguyen, founder and CEO of POPS Worldwide, said in their official statement, “This investment will make POPS one of the most compelling and diverse lineups of anime content in the industry and respond to the increasing demand of the dynamic young GenZ population in Southeast Asia.”
The two media giants started working together in 2020 by making dubbed Japanese anime available to fans across the region. That includes the hit anime series Naruto, Sergeant Keroro, and My Guardian Characters.
Yukio Kawasaki, senior MD at TV Tokyo, said they have been striving to bring Japanese animation to anime fans around the world as quickly as possible and with the best possible quality. “We have been looking for a business that can expand our business in Southeast Asia, and now we have found a great partner,” he added.
TV Tokyo is a subsidiary of the listed television broadcasting holding company TV Tokyo Holdings. The latter’s other subsidiaries include Nikkei CNBC and Paravi.
Although the exact amount of the investment was not declared (at least not yet), POPS Worldwide CEO revealed to Tech in Asia in May that there’s a $50 million investment they plan to close towards the end of Q3.
To date, not counting this latest round, the Vietnam-based firm has raised $37 million in investment, including its 2019 US$30 million series C led by Eastbridge Partners and Mirae Asset-Naver Asia Growth Fund, a joint initiative between Mirae Asset Financial Group and Naver Corporation.
In the same Tech in Asia interview, Esther said that POPS Worldwide intends to “accelerate its growth, especially in Indonesia, following its launch in the country in September 2020, and to strengthen its direct-to-consumer content.”
Initially, the undisclosed Series D funding was supposed to amplify POPS Worldwide’s presence in the region, with plans to open an office in Japan and potentially expand to the Philippines. Now that Japan’s officially in the picture, a partnership with a Philippine-based company is possibly in the works.
POPS Worldwide serves 523 million subscribers with high-quality and exclusive content tailor-made for all ages. The all-in-one platform allows access to the best-copyrighted entertainment from content creators in Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, and worldwide.