Archive for November 27, 2008

Digital Media M&A

Posted in Deals, Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , on November 27, 2008 by Dave Liu

Yahoo Sells Off European Comparison Shopping Site Kelkoo To PE Firm — Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), which has been trying to sell off its European comparison shopping service Kelkoo for a while now, has finally found a buyer, according to a report: it has been sold to a little-known UK-based private equity firm called Jamplant, for something less than euro 100 million ($126 million). Yahoo bought the service in 2004 for a price then of about 475 million euros (now $598 million).  

Disney Sold Movies.com To Comcast For $17 Million — Earlier this year in June, Fandango, the online movie tickets service that is part of Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA), bought out movies-info site Movies.com from Disney (NYSE: DIS), for a then-undisclosed sum. Now the amount has come out, in Disney’s latest annual 10-K filing with the SEC: The movies.com business was sold for $17 million on June 18, 2008, resulting in a pre-tax gain of $14 million.

Digital Media VC

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2008 by Dave Liu

PlaySpan Raised $16.8 Million In Series B — Santa Clara, Calif.-based operator of an in-game commerce network, has raised $16.8 million in Series B funding. Return backers include Easton Capital, Menlo Ventures, STIC International (South Korea) and Novel TMT Ventures (Hong Kong). It had previously raised $6.5 million.

KickApps Raised $13 Million In Series C — New York-based developer of social networking tools for existing websites, has raised over $13 million in Series C funding, according to a regulatory filing. No new investor is listed, although an outside lead is likely. Return backers include Prism VentureWorks, Softbank Capital and Spark Capital. The company had previously raised $17 million.

FanSnap Raised $5.5 Million In Series B — Palo Alto, Calif..-based live event ticket search engine, has raised $5.5 million in second-round funding led by return backer General Catalyst Partners. The company is currently in beta, and is run by Mike Janes, former chief marketing officer of StubHub. Nabbr.com Raised $2.6 Million In Seires B — New York-based online marketing company that distributes promotional content via social networking sites, has raised $2.57 million in Series B-4 funding, according to a regulatory filing. Return backers include Allen & Co. and Avalon Ventures.

HuffingtonPost.com Raising $20 Million — HuffingtonPost.com is in the midst of raising a $20 million funding round at a $90 million pre-money valuation. Oak Investment Partners would be among the new investors, while returning shareholders include Greycroft Partners and Softbank Capital Partners.

Brands4friends Raised Euro10 Million In Third Round — German online shopping club for fashion and lifestyle, has raised more than €10 million in third-round funding. Partech International led the round, and was joined by return backers Mangrove Capital Partners and Holtzbrinck Ventures.

Winkee.com Raised $9.5 Million In VC Funding — Chinese online advertising firm, has raised around $9.5 million in VC funding from DT Capital and Shenzhen Fortune Venture Capital, according to SinoCast.

Boafeng.com Raised $15 Million In VC Funding — Chinese developer of online video software, has raised $15 million in VC funding from Matrix Partners China and IDG.

Articles of the Day

Posted in Digital Media, News with tags , , , , , , , , on November 27, 2008 by Dave Liu

Google May Power Search, Ads For Russia’s Odnoklassniki Social Net — Russia’s top social network Odnoklassniki.ru is testing Google’s search box, both companies confirmed to business paper Kommersant, leading to a possible ad sales split in what is one of the world’s fastest growing online ad markets. With Google’s acquisition of RuNet portal Rambler’s Begun contextual ad agency recently blocked by anti-trust authorities, the search tie-up could offer a further foothold in a market that is booming despite the US slowdown in web ads’ growth. One Russian ad agency boss told Kommersant an Odnoklassniki.ru deal would add five percent to the 32 percent share of the Russian ad market Google (NSDQ: GOOG) would enjoy if the Begun deal goes ahead. It’s said to be the brainchild of new president Nikita Sherman, who has set about adding more paid features and driving monetization opportunities. Kommersant says the deal could make the portal an extra $1.5-$2 million next year, though the estimate isn’t explained. 

WPP Launches Ad Network In China, Latest Push By A Madison Avenue Biggie — WPP Group is extending its digital footprint into one of the largest and fastest growing online markets – China – and it’s doing it via an alliance that will form a new online advertising network. The move is interesting for two reasons. One, it makes good on WPP chief Martin Sorrell’s vow to establish more of a presence in China. Secondly, it marks yet another move by a big agency holding company to form its own advertising network, a step that could potentially disintermediate the array of third parties that dominate the space.  

NYT Claims To Have Figured Out Facebook As A Business Tool — The NYT is declaring that it cracked the code on using Facebook as a promotional vehicle. The company says that a branding campaign this month aimed at building Facebook fans around election news netted the paper “4.3 times the value of our spend,” according to a memo by president Scott Heekin-Canedy and posted on Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab site. It’s unclear exactly what that means: Heekin-Canedy doesn’t say what the baseline value of its ad spend was, and we called for clarification but didn’t get an answer. 

Music Service iLike In Search Of A Buyer: Report — Social music service iLike is on the block, MediaMemo reports—with existing stakeholder Ticketmaster and online music pioneer RealNetworks at the top of the potential buyers list. ILike has raised about $16 million in funding since its launch in 2006, with Ticketmaster and Bob Pittman’s Pilot Group as its investors. If this situation sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Fellow music-focused social media company Imeem is also on the hunt for a buyer, a sign that both companies’ management teams are wary of functioning independently in an increasingly cash-strapped market. Still, investors haven’t shied away from from pumping money into the digital music space: distributor TuneCore closed a $7 million funding round just last month, and Facebook has even been pondering its own music offering. Facebook also could be a likely buyer, given that iLike is one of its most popular apps, attracting about 5.4 million active users per month, but a pure stock play is likely to go over as well as it did with Twitter.