Invisible Universe creates an animated franchise on social platforms
The Future. A startup called Invisible Universe is crafting “the Pixar of the Internet” — a roster of original animated characters that exist on social platforms like TikTok and Instagram, and are paired up with celebrities that compliment their personalities. If the company accomplishes its goal of building up a strong enough following to ink film and TV deals for its characters, it could be behind the next generation’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
What if Woody had an Insta or Nemo had a TikTok? A new startup called Invisible Universe is bringing that idea to life with a roster of original characters.
- Created by former Snap exec John Brennan, entertainment tech startup Invisible Universe turns original animated characters into social media stars that can then expand their stories into traditional media such as film and TV.
- Characters so far include a sassy doll named Qai Qai who is the best friend of Olympia Ohanian (daughter of Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and tennis star Serena Williams) and plush best friends Squeaky & Roy who live with Dixie and Charli D’Amelio.
- Launching a character in tandem with a celebrity or known personality is also a purposeful strategy, allowing the character to grow their following alongside their human companion.
Invisible Universe has already raised $8 million from investors such as Ohanian’s Initialized Capital and Seven Seven Six, Williams, Will Smith’s Dreamers VC, and Jennifer Aniston (who will soon get her own animated companion).
As more and more kids spend their time on the new small screen (mobile devices), Invisible Universe’s approach is to bring characters to them, establish a connection, and then move to more time-consuming forms of media so that the audience follows them there.
And test-trialing these characters on socials is extremely low cost in comparison to the budgets of a typical animated film or show — allowing Invisible Universe to pivot or beta test if need be. According to CEO Tricia Biggio, “it takes four to five years and a couple hundred million dollars to launch a franchise, only to find out it actually didn’t convert to merch sales. We can work in 30 to 60 days at a fraction of the cost.”