Mobile Funding: 2 More Deals

moneybag.jpgSignaling investors continued bullishness about mobile entertainment, two new companies have secured middle rounds of financing: mobile gamer Vollee and mobile video provider Quickplay Media.  The specifics:

Founded 18 months ago, Vollee is developing game distribution technology that allows them to adapt, host and stream PC and Console games for play on mobile phones and portables over 3G Networks.  Based in Israel, and running with a staff of near 50, the company previously closed a $4m Series A round in March from Benchmark and Blue Run Ventures (BRV).  BRV Partner Yossi Hasson is also a co-founder of the company. 

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Games on Fire: How Hot is the Gaming Industry?

hot gamesForget Web 2.0.  Think twice about Internet video? Is gaming the next big frontier for investors and entertainment media companies alike?  It’s sure starting to look that way; even for those late to the party.  From Venture Investors to Big Media, gaming seems hot all over.

The sector has been hot for a while but in the past few months the temperature continues to rise.  Retail sales of consoles and games are returning consistently impressive results well ahead of the holiday season.  More than 68m people played a console game in June worldwide.  According to a report released Tuesday from market research firm DFC Intelligence, the cumulative worldwide “interactive entertainment industry” is on track to grow about 9% per year to reach $47b by 2009 (from $33billion in 2006).  Other market data firms are similarly bullish: Gartner has predicted mobile gaming revenue will hit $9.6b by 2011.  IDC predicts Internet connected consoles will generate revenue upwards of $10b by 2011, up from $981 in 2007.

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Ripping Video for the Enterprise: Ripcode and MySpace

ripcodeAfter spending eighteen months in “stealth mode,” and burning through a chunk of $17m in funding, a little Texas startup called Ripcode Monday came out of hiding with a bang.  The company, which has been developing a network appliance for encoding video data streams, formally introduced their product and also announced they’d signed a whale of a first customer: MySpace.

For every well run startup there is always one question, one market problem that they are aiming to fix.  For Ripcode it’s been about efficiency and cost effectiveness.  Their question was how can an enterprise which hosts Internet video re-encode the files in a cheaper and more efficient way. Click to Read More

Newly Financed: Recent VC Deal Roundup

vc recapAround industry a number of financings have closed in the past week.  Tallying it up and presenting them all at once, here’s the round up of who got cash:

Kewego –a European video sharing site based in Paris raised $6.9m in a second round led by Banxei venture Partners and CDC Enterprises.  The company has local video sharing sites in 10 European countries. They also provide digital signage, enterprise video syndication and advertising services.

Audiokinetic – a company providing game developers with software tools, notably middleware, for creating audio soundtracks for video games raised Click to Read More

Take Two Interactive: Earnings and Forecast

T2 earningsYesterday after the close of market video game publisher Take Two Interactive (NASDAQ: TTWO) reported their 3rd quarter financial results.

The New York company has had a rough year.  Not only have they been embattled and burdened by investigations into their options practices but in early August they announced they their premier game, Grand Theft Auto, would miss its October launch (and the holiday shopping season).  The game’s arrival was pushed back into 2008.  Also, in March, shareholders revolted and booted board members and management.  This quarter’s earnings may be the first sign things may be improving.  Buoyed in part by the sale of their game based on the Fantastic Four movie franchise they beat expectations.

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News Corp and Dow Jones: Inside the Deal

merger detailsWith much of the drama largely over and the merger going ahead, a few days ago Dow Jones and News Corp filed preliminary documents outlining the merger of the two companies.  The filings, which are required under securities law, are extensive in length, “preliminary” in form and heavy on legalese, but they  provide an incredibly detailed window in to the events leading up to the merger announcement as well as the terms eventually agreed on. 

The documents show, behind the scenes the soap opera characterized in the board room barely scratched the surface of the true level of corporate intrigue. Click to Read More

Multiply fetches $16 million

multiplyAdd social network Multiply to the list of well funded.  The company founded in 2003, which is focused on older users and those looking for a more closed environment to interact with those they already know rather than as a playground for making new contacts, pulled in $16m in a Series B Financing.   

The round was led by VantagePoint Venture Partners.  Point Judith Capital and previous Series A investors TransCosmos Investments also participated.

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