Cupcake Digital aquires iStory parent zuuka

CynKids Exclusive: Cupcake Digital is acquiring zuuka, developer of the iStoryTime app library. The purchase positions Cupcake as one of the largest independent children’s app developers, with a combined library of over 250 titles and a download base of over 8.5 million. The first app due out under the merged company will be Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Founded in 2012, Cupcake has risen quickly in the kids apps market with a licensed IP library rooted in both the TV and film worlds. Popular titles feature Strawberry Shortcake, Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! Fraggle Rock, Madagascar and How To Train Your Dragon. In January Cupcake released an app for Sony Pictures’ The Nut Job, and its app for the Fox’s upcoming Rio 2 movie sequel will be out April 1. iStoryTime’s BookShelf library app is filled primarily with licensed film content, including Sony Pictures’ Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, and DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo and Kung Fu Panda. “The synergies that are created by bringing Cupcake and zuuka together are ideal… We were essentially talking to the same people at the studios,” Brad Powers, Cupcake digital chairman/CEO, tells CynKids. “This allows us to provide a one-stop solution for licensing movie properties to develop interactive apps and stories.” zuuka founders Graham Farrar and Jack “Woody” Sears will hold senior management positions at Cupcake Digital, and the combined power could even entice studios still keeping their app development in-house to consider a third-party licensing arrangement. “What we can provide to the studios is unique. Combined we are able to produce delightful apps and an extremely efficient marketing apparatus to drive downloads and sales,” Powers says. “We expect the trend will continue.” Cupcake will maintain the iStoryTime library, including upgrading functionality for some titles.

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