LONDON – Digital Bridges Ltd., a leading provider of wireless interactive entertainment, has secured a GBP10 million investment from Apax Partners and Argo Global Capital, both strong investors in the space.
Digital Bridges, founded in 1998 by the Scottish entrepreneur Kevin Bradshaw, is said by its new backers to be set to become the world leader in the delivery and development of interactive entertainment to wireless phone users.
“The company offers the best platform for the delivery of wireless entertainment to network operators and a route to the mobile market for content developers and media property owners,” said Apax Partners Director Stephen Grabiner.
This recent investment will allow the company to accelerate its global expansion. Digital Bridges already has strategic partnerships with mobile operators including One2One and Vodafone in the U.K., France Telecom Mobile, Omnitel in Italy, Telfort in The Netherlands, Orange Switzerland, Halebop and Mobyson in Scandinavia, ClearNET in North America, Globetel in the Philippines and World Online in South Africa. Digital Bridges currently offers 18 live multi-player games on nine different wireless devices in seven different languages, and is working with multiple mobile operators around the world.
Games in development include Wireless Pets, a Tamagotchistyle virtual pet. Players will be able to choose from a number of pets, ranging from cats to aliens, and will then be expected to “care” for them over their phone. If they don’t, their pet will whine and pine finally be taken away by the Society for the Protection of Wireless Pets.
Alan MacIntosh, a partner at Argo Global Capital, said, “mobile entertainment is becoming a highly attractive market for mobile phone operators. In Japan, where wireless data services are used by more than 10 million people, about half of all the service revenues are entertainment related. Digital Bridges has proven that its open technology platform combined with its compelling wireless content helps mobile operators win in this explosive new market.”
Stephen Grabiner of Apax Partners and Alan MacIntosh of Argo Global Capital have joined the board of Digital Bridges as directors.