PlayPhone acquires Pitch Entertainment Group for European mobile expansion

Mobile entertainment provider PlayPhone is announcing today that it has acquired Pitch Entertainment Group as part of its global expansion. The purchase price wasn’t disclosed.

San Jose, Calif.-based PlayPhone aggregates mobile content and offers it directly to consumers, who can download it onto their mobile phones. Pitch Entertainment Group, based in London, does the same thing in the European and Brazilian markets.

PlayPhone specializes in obtaining content from big brands from Disney to Sony. Then it takes that content direct to mobile phone consumers. Combined with Pitch Entertainment Group, the two companies will be able to reach 400 million mobile phone consumers, said Ron Czerny, CEO of PlayPhone, in an interview.

“We grew 400 percent in 2007,” said Czerny.

The top content — more than 60,000 branded items — includes music, particularly hip hop; games, videos and wallpapers. Czerny said that the company plans to reach a billion users by the end of 2009.

The companies will have 200 employees and offices in dozens of countries including Europe, North America, Brazil, Africa and China.

PlayPhone has raised $30 million to date. It last completed an $18.75 million third-round of funding in May, 2007. Its investors include venture firms Menlo Ventures, Cardinal Venture Capital and Scale Venture Partners. Pitch Entertainment Group was privately owned. PlayPhone plans to raise a new round soon.

The combined company will compete with rivals such as Spain’s Zed Group and Jamster, which is owned by News Corp. and Verisign.