The San Mateo mobile game company, Sorrent, says it has raised $20 million in a 4th round of financing, led by Granite Global Ventures. See extended entry for release. It’s just the latest sign that Silicon Valley — more specifically, San Mateo — has become a center for the hot mobile game industry.
Our resident game expert, Dean Takahashi, says the Sorrent funding underscores the momentum behind cell phone gaming. Sorrent is focusing on taking known brands, like Fox Sports, into the cell phone game space. Check out Dean’s story Two visions for cell phone games about how Sorrent’s chief executive, Greg Ballard, believes that familiar brands are key to mass appeal — contrary to Digital Chocolate’s Trip Hawkins, who believes success is all in the tech offerings…
….Besides Sorrent, also in San Mateo are Kayak Interactive, Infospace Games, Centerscore, Hudson Mobile Entertainment, Mobileway, and Digital Chocolate. The latest entrant was I-play, formerly known as Digital Bridges.
Sorrent Raises $20 Million Led by Granite Global Ventures in
Series D Financing
Investment Recognizes Sorrent’s Global Leadership in Rapidly
Expanding Mobile Entertainment Market
SAN MATEO, Calif., May 3, 2005 – Sorrent, Inc., a leading creator and global publisher of mobile entertainment, today announced that it has raised $20 million in Series D financing led by expansion-stage venture capital firm, Granite Global Ventures. Sorrent’s current investors, including BA Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Globespan Capital Partners and Sienna Ventures, joined Granite Global Ventures in the round. Hany Nada, a managing director with Granite Global Ventures, will join Sorrent’s board of directors.
“It’s a pivotal moment in the mobile entertainment industry,” said Rocky Pimentel, executive vice president and CFO, Sorrent. “Premier publishers like Sorrent have begun to separate from the pack. As the consolidation in this market continues, the companies that thrive will have strong balance sheets and proven world-class execution.”
Sorrent plans to use the funding to continue its global expansion and extend the reach of its portfolio beyond games into other fast-growing segments of mobile entertainment. The round will supply the working capital necessary for Sorrent’s high-growth business.
“Sorrent has executed flawlessly against this market opportunity,” said Nada. “They’ve not only assembled an exceptional management team that knows how to navigate this stage of hyper-growth, their strategy of combining original content with globally recognized brands has proven a winning combination.”
Sorrent has raised $50 million to date and the current round recognizes the company’s recent achievements and significant revenue growth. In the past year, Sorrent has added to its relationship with Atari, acquiring exclusive worldwide rights to one of their 2005 marquee titles, Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. The company also kicked off an exclusive multi-year, multi-title partnership with global entertainment leader, Twentieth Century FOX. Sorrent recently released two mobile games and content suites based on the tentpole films, Robots(tm) and Kingdom of Heaven.
In addition, Sorrent recently completed the successful acquisition and integration of a leading European mobile publisher, Macrospace. Through the acquisition, Sorrent added award-winning original intellectual property, top tier brands from companies such as Turner and Celador Inc., advanced technology and expanded its distribution in Europe and Asia. Macrospace also has a leading services division, ProvisionX, which enables carriers and media companies to deploy mobile games to carriers and media companies worldwide.
About Sorrent, Inc.
Sorrent is a global publisher of award-winning wireless entertainment based on original and licensed properties including Atari, Viacom, Cartoon Network, FOX Sports, and Twentieth Century Fox. Sorrent games are available to more than 800 million mobile subscribers via 90 carriers worldwide, across platforms including Java, BREW and i-mode. Sorrent also develops and publishes mobile games under the Macrospace brand as well as offering a complete end-to-end mobile gaming solution via ProvisionX, the most widely deployed Java download service worldwide. Sorrent is based in San Mateo, California and has offices in London and Singapore. Founded in 2001, Sorrent has attracted top tier venture capital firms including NEA, BA Venture Partners, Granite Global Ventures, Sienna Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners. For more information, visit www.sorrent.com.
About Granite Global Ventures
Granite Global Ventures is an expansion-stage venture capital firm focused on information technology and healthcare companies. The firm was founded in 2000 by its four managing directors: Scott Bonham, Joel Kellman, Hany Nada, and Thomas Ng, in association with Venrock Associates. Granite Global Ventures brings a depth of experience in investments, cross-border business development activities, mergers and acquisitions, and IPO transactions. With $390 million under management, its investments include 2Wire, Alibaba, Athena Health, Endeca, Hurray Solutions, Intarcia, NetScaler, Vocera, and XenoPort. Past investments include, Kintana (acquired by Mercury Interactive), Oculex (acquired by Allergan, Inc.) and P-Cube (acquired by Cisco Systems, Inc.). Granite Global Ventures www.ggvc.com has offices in Menlo Park, CA, Shanghai and Singapore.
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