Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (04 July 2022)
Kukua, founded in 2018 by Lucrezia Bisignani, is an educational entertainment company based in Nairobi and London that created “Super Sema,” Africa’s first animated superhero franchise. That year, the company raised $2.5 million in seed funding from Africa-focused venture capital firm EchoVC and other investors. According to a TechCrunch report on June 29, 2022, the company was able to raise another $6 million in its most recent round of investment, which was co-led by China-based Tencent and Italy-based VC Alchimia. EchoVC, firstminute Capital, and Auxxo Female Catalyst are among the other investors.
Since its debut on YouTube Originals in March 2021, Super Sema’s has received over 40 million views and an NAACP Image Award nomination for Outstanding Animated Series. The United States accounts for 60% of its target audience of children aged 4 to 8, with the United Kingdom and Kenya trailing behind. YouTube Originals approved the show’s second season, which debuted this month. Bisignani stated that the company is acquiring more rights to air the show on more TV stations across the continent.
Kukua says the investment will support its goal to continue building an IP-centric kids’ “edutainment” universe with new Super Sema original content, licensing, merchandise and publishing offerings. According to Bisignani, immediate plans include launching a U.S. toy line in the fall with toy company Just Play and “Let’s Technovate with Super Sema,” a companion vlog series with real science and DIY experiments children can do at home scheduled to premiere in 2022. Kukua also plans to expand Super Sema’s North American Publishing and Licensing program with the signing of Penguin Random House, Bendon and Bentex, category leaders in publishing and apparel.
Super Sema tells the story of a 10-year-old African girl who is a superhero with the abilities of creativity, determination, and teamwork. She employs science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math to create inventions from her secret lab in order to combat this evil robot villain — her town’s ruler — and his minions.
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