Endemol has invested $13 million in the social casino gaming company Plumbee, which creates free-to-play online and mobile games for social networks such as Facebook.
Together, the two companies plan to create premium social casino games featuring Endemol's entertainment brands.
"Social casino gaming is a fast-emerging market, and Plumbee is one of the most innovative and dynamic operators in this space,” says Lucas Church, chair, group commercial board, Endemol. “This new partnership will allow us to accelerate the growth of Endemol's digital gaming business around the world, whilst capturing more of the value created by our entertainment brands."
The deal builds on Endemol’s current digital gaming projects, which include a new initiative to move into app publishing with gaming apps based on “Pointless” and “Deal or No Deal.” The producer has already debuted a second-screen for “The Money Drop,” and a number of other online and mobile games for brands including “The Million Pound Drop” and “Big Brother.”
"Joining forces with a world-leading content creator like Endemol ideally positions us to develop a new generation of premium social games,” says Raf Keustermans, chief executive officer, Plumbee. “Endemol will become a strategic shareholder, and this will enable us to leverage the company’s international network and globally recognized brands. This will significantly boost the growth of our worldwide user base as we create gaming experiences that stand out from the competition."
Since launching in October 2011, Plumbee's growth has been driven by its flagship game “Mirrorball Slots,” which is among the top 10 highest grossing social casino games on Facebook. The start-up also has a joint venture with online gambling company Unibet, called Bonza Gaming, which has created “Bonza Slots,” one of the first-ever real-money casino games on Facebook.
Plumbee’s existing investor, Idinvest Partners, also participated in this round of funding, which brings the value of the business to $40 million.