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Cell Phone Games News

November 19, 2004
Digital Bridges growth in mobile games aided by 3rd round funding

Digital Bridges, a world leader in the creation and distribution of mobile entertainment solutions, today announced the conclusion of a third round of funding from its existing investors, funds advised by Apax Partners and Argo Global Capital, two of the most active investors in the wireless internet space. The round totals $18 million and will accelerate the company’s expansion into the rapidly growing North American and Asian mobile games markets.

The company will use its third round of funding to support an aggressive expansion strategy over the next 12 months. In the coming weeks, the company will open its West Coast office, which will be Digital Bridges’ core North American operational base and key production and commercial hub. In addition, the company will make key hires across Europe and will expand its presence in the Asian market.

Since the company’s last equity investment round, Digital Bridges has reinforced its position as a world leader in mobile games creation, publishing and distribution. Recent announcements include a deal signed to become the exclusive co-publishing and distribution partner to Electronic Arts, one of the biggest videogame publishers in the Americas and Europe; the appointment of David Gosen, previously Nintendo Europe’s MD of Sales & Marketing, as DB’s COO, responsible for the company’s operational objectives; and the hiring of Shigero Ota, former Capcom Europe and Nintendo of Europe President to lead DB’s push to sign up Japanese content partnerships as well as distribution.

In addition to Electronic Arts, Digital Bridges currently has publishing or distribution partnerships with companies as diverse as MGM, Universal Studios, Taito, Vivendi Universal Games, The BBC, SNK, Disney Mobile, Codemasters, Eidos, Time Warner, and SCi. The company’s impressive portfolio of high value licenses represents some of the industry’s most downloaded titles.

Brian Greasley, CEO of Digital Bridges commented, “We are just at the tip of the iceberg in terms of realizing the full potential of the mobile games market. Our 2004 Q3 revenue grew by more than 30% over Q2 making us one of the fastest growing companies in the sector. Digital Bridges has strengthened its management team, is growing its presence in key markets and with this most recent round, is well funded to continue its aggressive expansion plans.”

Richard Wilson, Partner at Apax Partners said: “Mobile games is a $1 billion industry today. Recent forecasts suggest that over the next five years the industry will grow 6-fold with downloadable games generating 82 percent of the dynamic $8 billion mobile content market. Digital Bridges is well positioned to dominate in key territories in this next, critical phase of the industry’s development.”

Doug Schrier from Argo commented, “We see mobile games as the fastest growing segment of the mobile Internet and we are delighted to be backing the excellent team Brian Greasley has put together at Digital Bridges.”

Nitesh Patel, Senior Industry Analyst from Strategy Analytics commented: “The outlook for the mobile games industry is beginning to look bright as the combined effect of a rapidly growing penetration of attractive rich media handsets, better marketing of games services by operators, greater participation of traditional games companies, and higher quality games has served to lend greater credibility to this emerging industry. We anticipate that by 2009 the mobile games market will be worth over $8 billion, with downloadable games generating 82% of revenues. With the total addressable market of download capable devices set to increase from 186 million at the end of 2003 to over 1 billion in 2009, we expect that active users of downloadable games will grow from 32 million to reach 220 million across the same timeframe.”

Source: Digital Bridges

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