HOW THEY GOT THERE: Genius Brands International Inc. is the biggest gainer on the Business Journal’s 2020 list of largest public companies, logging a year-over-year market cap increase of 3,032% and jumping 47 spots from No. 119 to No. 72. The Beverly Hills-based global brand management company creates and licenses multimedia entertainment for kids. In August, the company announced it had enjoyed a five-fold increase in revenue during the second quarter, largely fueled by its TV series “Rainbow Rangers” on Nickelodeon’s Nick Jr. channel and “Llama Llama” on Netflix. In November, Genius Brands reported a 563% increase in revenue to $3.5 million in the third quarter.
WHERE THEY GO NEXT: Along with financial good news in 2019, Genius Brands announced high-profile content deals including a partnership with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. to co-produce a new animated series, “Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten” starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The company also launched Kartoon Channel, offering family-friendly content across multiple platforms. In early July, Genius Brands announced an agreement with Stan Lee’s POW! Entertainment Inc. to create Stan Lee Universe, a joint venture drawing from more than 100 original Stan Lee creations. On July 15, Genius Brands set a partnership with Archie Comics to publish comic books and graphic novels based on Stan Lee characters.
QUOTABLE: “With all of these initiatives coming together in a perfect storm, Genius Brand now sits 100% debt free, with $50 million-plus of cash in the bank,” Genius Brands Chairman and Chief Executive Andy Heyward said in an email. “Our balance sheet is pristine, and the prospects are tremendous. Our partners are the strongest in the business, from Alibaba in China to Amazon and Netflix as well as Mattel, Walmart and Target. It’s now a hard story to ignore.”
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