Intel Capital led a $2.6 million round for mobile entertainment studio Skyrockit. Asuka DBJ Partners, and individual investor Mark Kingdon also participated in the funding.
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SAN FRANCISCO, skyrockit, an award-winning mobile entertainment studio, today announced that it has raised new funding to expand the company's products and services, hire key talent, and solidify its position as a global innovator in the mobile entertainment space. skyrockit's recent round of funding, led by investor Intel Capital, includes $2.6 million USD, with participation from Asuka DBJ Partners, and individual investor Mark Kingdon. Separately, skyrockit has announced that Intel Capital's Marc Yi, Asuka DBJ's Toshihiro Toyoshima and Kingdon have joined the Company's Board of Directors.
skyrockit plans to enhance its existing entertainment products and services, while also focusing on the development of new original intellectual property. skyrockit's customers include top-tier mobile carriers, mobile handset manufacturers, media companies, brands and consumers. The company's portfolio of mobile products includes the award-winning Virtual Zippo Lighter, with more than 16 million users worldwide and ROMPLR(TM), its patent-pending music remix platform (http://bit.ly/36dU54). With more than 1.1 million users, ROMPLR has become the number one music remix application across iPhone and Nokia handsets, and has been the centerpiece of massively successful campaigns for brands such as vitaminwater. ROMPLR is also the only remix application that has secured global deals with major record labels and publishers and is live in more than 95 countries.
"In today's world of pervasive connectivity, where anytime, anywhere content on multiple platforms is in high demand, we see a need for creative development that is current unmet," said Marc Yi, managing director of Intel Capital. "skyrockit is uniquely positioned to take advantage of these digital content opportunities to evolve into the mobile studio of the future."
skyrockit will continue to work with brands and agencies as a creative studio specializing in delivering scalable, results-driven mobile products and campaigns that marry entertainment, advertising and technology. The company has developed strong relationships with brands - including Kraft Foods, GAP, Zippo, Intel, and Microsoft, among others - producing original entertainment that has ignited online and mobile fan engagement, delivering breakthrough results. The company's campaigns, such as the EMF reader for A&E's Paranormal State; the 'Postcards from the future' app for Intel, the 'Spread a Little Joy' eBook for Kraft Foods; the virtual Zippo lighter iPhone app; the 'Gap casting call campaign & iPhone app' for GAP, and NBC's 'The Biggest Loser BlackBerry app, have all generated strong audience response built around original mobile experiences.
"This is the decade of mobile, and major brands are going mobile in a big way. But there is a huge divide between large ad agencies and small app developers which has created an opportunity for skyrockit to become the go-to studio for the big mobile idea," said Mark Kingdon, ex-CEO of Organic and Linden Lab, the developer of Second Life - the online virtual world. "Given skyrockit's track record with Fortune 1000 brands, and their IP portfolio, they are in a unique position to deliver on big ideas in mobile."
skyrockit plans to expand its entertainment offerings and marketing services for mobile carriers and handset manufacturers. It is currently the only mobile entertainment studio that licenses, aggregates and distributes content to all four Tier 1 U.S. mobile carriers - AT&T Mobility, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. skyrockit, previously known as Moderati, was renamed in 2009; it was founded as Faith West in 2001 as one of the original mobile consumer retail brands.
"We are seeing a new cycle in mobile entertainment consumption, particularly with music, that suggests the industry is moving beyond music ownership and into more interactive, access-based experiences that live with the mobile subscriber in real-time across platforms. We are perfectly positioned to deliver these experiences for our partners to help them differentiate their consumer offerings," said Vlassopulos. "This is an unprecedented time for brands and media companies to create new mobile-based IP cost-effectively. skyrockit stands at the intersection of what we call 'Madison, Valley & Vine;' and we can be the 'go-to' creative, strategic, and development partner for mobile innovation."
"Once companies learned from their consumers that mobile technology and applications were driving engagement, there was no discussion about the relevance of creative development in producing hit experiences for handsets. Now, the question is: who will guide companies into the next realm of mobile marketing and entertainment, and what will that look like? We believe skyrockit is uniquely positioned for this new era of mobile creativity," said Toshihiro Toyoshima, CEO of Asuka DBJ Partners. "skyrockit has blurred the lines between what is 'mobile' and what is simply solid connected creative production. This is altogether a new kind of entity in the mobile industry. As we focus on cross-border growth opportunities, we look forward to helping support skyrockit's innovative concepts in the Japanese, Chinese, and other Asian markets."
skyrockit is an award-winning global mobile entertainment studio that delivers scalable, results-driven products, services and campaigns for carriers, handset manufacturers, brands and consumers that marry entertainment, advertising and technology. skyrockit is currently the only mobile entertainment studio that licenses and aggregates content to all four Tier 1 U.S. mobile carriers - AT&T Mobility, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon Wireless. The company's portfolio of mobile products includes the award-winning Virtual Zippo Lighter, with more than 16 million users worldwide and ROMPLR, its patent-pending music remix platform. With more than 1.1 million users, ROMPLR is the number one music remix application across iPhone and Nokia handsets, and has been the centerpiece of massively successful campaigns for brands such as vitaminwater. To date, more than 25 million consumers have downloaded the company's applications since its founding in 2001. skyrockit has generated more than $300 million in revenue for its partners and more than 100 million pieces of content have been consumed. Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, skyrockit is backed by Intel Capital, Asuka DBJ Partners, and individual investors. For more information, please visit the company web site at www.skyrockit.com
About Asuka DBJ Partners
Asuka DBJ Partners is a private equity investment firm established in 2005 as a joint venture between Development Bank of Japan, a 100% government-owned bank that has long supported companies and projects through equity and debt investments, and Asuka Asset Management, a leading independent investment management company in Japan. Based on the fundamental concept "Cross Border and Growth," Asuka DBJ Partners mainly invests in companies and projects in growth sectors in Japan, China and other parts of Asia, and also provides consulting services to companies seeking growth. Asuka DBJ Partners also provides unique investment opportunities for Japanese and global investors in value investment sectors in Japan.
About Intel Capital
Intel Capital, Intel's global investment organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, home, mobility, health, consumer Internet, semiconductor manufacturing and cleantech. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$10 billion in over 1,140 companies in 50 countries. In that timeframe, 191 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and 268 were acquired or participated in a merger. In 2010, Intel Capital invested US$327 million in 119 investments with approximately 44 percent of funds invested outside the United States and Canada.