NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Thumbplay® (www.thumbplay.com), the #1 mobile entertainment content service in the U.S.*, today announced that it has raised $18 million in new capital through a Series E round that was led by Brookside Capital Partners, the public equity affiliate of Bain Capital, and Cross Creek Capital, a private equity affiliate of Wasatch Advisors.
"The high quality of our new investors is very significant, since both typically invest in companies which offer opportunities to realize substantial long-term capital appreciation," said Are Traasdahl, Thumbplay's CEO and founder. "This is a testament to Thumbplay's ongoing success."
Thumbplay plans to use the new capital to expand its direct-to-consumer product offerings, in addition to further developing the tools it provides content owners, creators, publishers and brand marketers. The company also plans to accelerate its strategic growth plans and to expand internationally in 2008 to meet the growing demand for mobile entertainment content around the world, including the possibility of identifying potential acquisitions that will help advance its leadership position in the worldwide mobile content industry.
“Thumbplay’s unique off-deck model for selling a wide variety of mobile entertainment content to consumers has already proven to be very successful here in the U.S. and we’re now ready to extend the positive customer experience we already deliver to the millions of mobile consumers all around the world,” added Traasdahl.
With more than 80,000 pieces of mobile entertainment content under license, including ringtones, wallpapers, games, videos, voice tones and text-based services, Thumbplay has built a strong consumer following and gained broad recognition as a leader in the direct-to-consumer mobile content space.
During the last quarter of 2007, Thumbplay announced deals to integrate its mobile entertainment content catalog into the Web and mobile portals of AOL and MSN Mobile, as well as iLike, one of the Web’s leading social music discovery services. Earlier this year, Thumbplay signed a digital distribution agreement to add content from Sony BMG Music Entertainment’s artists to Thumbplay’s already diverse mobile entertainment content catalog.
Thumbplay, Inc. is defining the mobile entertainment experience for U.S. consumers. As the largest and fastest growing mobile entertainment content destination, Thumbplay gives consumers access to the broadest and deepest catalog in the industry, spanning audio, video and gaming content from the leading music labels and artists, game publishers and media companies. Its innovative delivery and marketing platform makes it easy for users to discover, manage, store and share mobile content online and on their wireless devices.
Headquartered in New York City, Thumbplay was founded in September 2004 by Are Traasdahl and Evan Schwartz. It is backed by Bain Capital Ventures, SoftBank Capital, i-Hatch Ventures, Redwood Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Meritech, Brookside Capital Partners and Cross Creek Capital. More information can be found at www.thumbplay.com.
About Brookside Capital Partners & Bain Capital
Brookside Capital Partners is an investment fund affiliated with Bain Capital (http://www.baincapital.com), a leading global private investment firm with approximately $60 billion in assets under management. Formed in 1996, Brookside invests across a broad spectrum of industries including media and telecom, healthcare, consumer, industrial and financial services. Each investment is based on fundamental analysis of the company's business by professionals who are sector focused. Headquartered in Boston, Bain Capital has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, New York, London, and Munich.
About Wasatch Advisors®
Founded in 1975, Salt Lake City based Wasatch Advisors is an employee-owned investment adviser with roughly $7 billion under management. Wasatch Advisors is the investment adviser to Wasatch Funds®, a family of no-load mutual funds, as well as separately managed institutional and individual portfolios. Wasatch Advisors pursues a disciplined approach to investing, focused on bottom-up, fundamental analysis vetted through a uniquely collaborative Multiple Eyes™ process to leverage the knowledge and skill of the entire Wasatch Advisors research team.
About Cross Creek Capital®
Wasatch Advisors’ private equity affiliate, Cross Creek Capital, is a venture capital fund focused on late-stage private equity investments in what it believes are the best-of-breed public companies of the future. Wasatch Advisors’ experience in evaluating small public companies gives it unique insight into evaluating late-stage private companies. Cross Creek Capital leverages the knowledge and skill of the broader Wasatch Advisors research team in its investment decisions.
*Source: Nielsen Mobile’s “Mobile Content Storefront Revenue” Report, Q3 and Q4 2007 (based on non-carrier revenue generation at the top 4 U.S. carriers)