Endemol, the world’s largest independent producer of multiplatform entertainment, today announced it has invested $13 million in social casino gaming company Plumbee. The digital start-up’s existing investor, Idinvest Partners, also participated in this round. The deal values the business at $40 million.
Plumbee is a fast expanding business that creates, operates and markets free-to-play online and mobile games on social networks such as Facebook.
The two companies will create premium social casino games, exploiting Endemol’s global entertainment brands and building on Plumbee’s worldwide user base.
Since launching in October 2011, Plumbee’s rapid growth has been driven by successes such as its flagship game Mirrorball Slots, which launched online and on iOS in July 2013 and is coming soon on Android. It is among the top ten highest grossing social casino games on Facebook.
Social casino games are free to play but players can purchase virtual credits in order to unlock more features and get upgrades, gifts, bonuses and more.
Plumbee also has a joint venture with leading online gambling company Unibet, called ‘Bonza Gaming’. The jv is behind ‘Bonza Slots’, one of the first ever real-money casino games on Facebook; and more recently has launched ‘Bonza Casino’.
Plumbee was co-founded by Chief Executive Officer Raf Keustermans, Chief Operating Officer Gerald Tan and Chief Technology Officer Jodi Moran; who together combine expertise across areas including digital gaming, advertising, design, marketing, technology and finance.
Today their London based company has employs over 50 people including designers, engineers, product managers, analysts and marketers.
Lucas Church, Chair of Endemol’s Group Commercial Board, comments: “Social casino gaming is a fast emerging market and Plumbee is one of the most innovative and dynamic operators in this space. 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.”
Raf Keustermans, Chief Executive Officer of Plumbee adds: “Joining forces with a world leading content creator like Endemol ideally positions us to develop a new generation of premium social games. Endemol will become a strategic shareholder and this will enable us to leverage the company’s international network and globally recognised brands. This will significantly boost the growth of our worldwide user base as we create gaming experiences that stand out from the competition.”
Endemol’s current digital gaming projects include a new initiative to move into app publishing, launching with gaming apps based on hit shows Pointless and Deal or No Deal. Recent successes include The Money Drop second screen game, which has so far had over 30 million games played worldwide; The Million Pound Drop app in the UK, which has had over 2.5 million downloads to date; and a multitude of online and mobile games around the world for the company’s global brands such as Big Brother.
Plumbee was advised on the investment by Ingenious Corporate Finance.