KUALA LUMPUR, 21 August 2007 â€“ MESDAQ-listed mTouche Technology Berhad (mTouche) today announces that global venture capital firm Canaan Partners (Canaan) has invested a total of USD5.25 million in mTouche’s UK-based affiliate Cellcast plc. (Cellcast).
This investment by Canaan is buoyed by the increasingly strong demand for interactive digital entertainment in the Asia and South-East Asia regions. It is also seen as a significant shot-in-the-arm for global interactive digital broadcaster Cellcast as well as Cellcast SEA Limited (Cellcast SE Asia) – a joint venture company between mTouche and Cellcast.
Eugene Goh, CEO of mTouche hails Canaan’s investment in Cellcast as timely and apt in the current circumstance where he believes the largest and fastest growing mobile, television and online digital entertainment markets in the world are clustered around the Asia region.
“Our partnership with Cellcast has proven to be a success in helping mTouche leverage the ever-growing market and potential of digital entertainment in Asia. We see Canaan’s investment in Cellcast as positively strategic in terms of further business expansion and leadership consolidation.”
“Canaan’s investment in Cellcast is an endorsement that speaks volumes for South East Asian-based managed IT companies. We are confident that with Canaan’s financial backing, and the existing mTouche-Cellcast’s joint venture, Cellcast SE Asia, will soon realize its ambitions to be the leading interactive media applications provider in the region.”
This year, Cellcast SE Asia, successfully launched Insomnia and CelebMania, two late-night interactive television show created for terrestrial television. Both shows broadcasted over TV3 using Cellcast’s Interactive Television (iTV) format and solutions, leveraging the mTouche™ Intelligent Short Messaging Platform, mTouche™ Interactive TV Platform for Premium Short Messaging Services (SMS) and Premium Interactive Voice Recognition (IVR) services. Viewers are able to participate in brain-teasers and quizzes, while being entertained with high-energy comedy sketches, musical acts and celebrity gossips.
New Business Structure
Cellcast is injecting its 50% holding in Cellcast SEA Limited (Cellcast SE Asia) into its new venture, Cellcast Asia Holdings (Cellcast Asia). Canaan’s investment brings Cellcast Asia’s enlarged share capital value to USD13.5 million.
Pankaj Thakar, Cellcast Asia’s new CEO, says, “The region’s rapid mobile penetration growth together with the significant expansion in the multi-channel television industry, are creating significant opportunities for Cellcast’s digital entertainment products. By combining the resources of Cellcast Asia with the strong market position of our partner mTouche, we are creating a powerful regional distribution capability with a combined network of relationships with over 20 leading regional broadcasters and over 30 telecoms operators.”
“The exciting participation of Canaan Partners will enable us to accelerate growth through investment in new formats and applications and the expansion of our management team to support our regional initiatives,” says Thakar.
Eugene Goh of mTouche ends, “The mobile trend in the region will create an enormous ripple of opportunities for interactive digital content and mTouche is confident that we will be able to introduce more innovative interactive media applications to the regional market through our excellent and fruitful partnership with Cellcast.”