2013-12-16 10:01:03 -
Endemol, the world’s largest independent producer of multiplatform entertainment, today announced it has invested $13 million in social casino gaming company Plumbee. The digital start-up’s existing investor, Idinvest Partners, also participated in this round. The deal values the business at $40 million.
Plumbee is a fast expanding business that creates, operates and markets free-to-play online and mobile games on social networks such as Facebook.
The two companies will create premium social casino games, exploiting Endemol's global entertainment brands and building on Plumbee's worldwide user base.
Since launching in October 2011, Plumbee's rapid growth has been driven by successes such as its flagship game Mirrorball Slots, which launched online and on iOS in July 2013 and is coming soon on Android.
It is among
the top ten highest grossing social casino games on Facebook.
Social casino games are free to play but players can purchase virtual credits in order to unlock more features and get upgrades, gifts, bonuses and more.
Plumbee also has a joint venture with leading online gambling company Unibet, called ‘Bonza Gaming’. The jv is behind 'Bonza Slots', one of the first ever real-money casino games on Facebook; and more recently has launched 'Bonza Casino'.
Plumbee was co-founded by Chief Executive Officer Raf Keustermans, Chief Operating Officer Gerald Tan and Chief Technology Officer Jodi Moran; who together combine expertise across areas including digital gaming, advertising, design, marketing, technology and finance.
Today their London based company has employs over 50 people including designers, engineers, product managers, analysts and marketers.
Lucas Church, Chair of Endemol's Group Commercial Board, comments.
"Social casino gaming is a fast emerging market and Plumbee is one of the most innovative and dynamic operators in this space. This new partnership will allow us to accelerate the growth of Endemol's digital gaming business around the world, whilst capturing more of the value created by our entertainment brands."
Raf Keustermans, Chief Executive Officer of Plumbee adds: "Joining forces with a world leading content creator like Endemol ideally positions us to develop a new generation of premium social games.
Endemol will become a strategic shareholder and this will enable us to leverage the company’s international network and globally recognised brands. This will significantly boost the growth of our worldwide user base as we create gaming experiences that stand out from the competition."
Endemol's current digital gaming projects include a new initiative to move into app publishing, launching with gaming apps based on hit shows Pointless and Deal or No Deal. Recent successes include The Money Drop second screen game, which has so far had over 30 million games played worldwide; The Million Pound Drop app in the UK, which has had over 2.5 million downloads to date; and a multitude of online and mobile games around the world for the company's global brands such as Big Brother.
Plumbee was advised on the investment by Ingenious Corporate Finance.
Endemol is the largest independent television and digital production company in the world. It comprises a global network of around 90 companies in more than 30 countries and is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
The company annually produces over 350 series across genres, including entertainment, reality TV, game shows, comedy, drama, sport, kids programming, factual, docu-dramas and features.
Endemol works with roughly 400 broadcasters, digital platforms and licensees worldwide. The business covers development, production, marketing, distribution and franchise management.
Credits include international hits such as Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, Wipeout, The Money Drop and Your Face Sounds Familiar. The company’s growing drama and comedy portfolio includes Hell on Wheels, Hot in Cleveland, Leverage, Home and Away, Emmy Award winning Black Mirror; and new productions in 2013 including Ripper Street and Peaky Blinders for the BBC and the US adaptation of UK drama Low Winter Sun for AMC.
As one of the world’s largest independent distributors of formats and finished programming Endemol launches over 50 new entertainment formats each year on broadcast networks around the world and distributes more than 29,000 hours of content. The company’s creative teams around the world are continuously developing new ideas that are shared across the Endemol network.
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