Badoo Using Offline Adverts In NewYork

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Living in New York City? then you may have noticed an onslaught of new posters promoting a kind of hook up service for social media users called Badoo. The service is very clever in that it hooks into every available email db and social site you use to then get you connected to others.  The slight weakness as with most dating services is the lack of ladies using the service.  As well as the I’m I hot or not style of game played on the meeting people side of things.  

Clearly though it has some great numbers they quote 150M users on the advert which is impressive and Badoo regularly features in the profit charts for apps on measurement sites like App Annie, and Inside Social Games.  The service is a tad spam in nature but if they can overcome that element and do something with their audience and their adverting budgets to deliver a good dating service or similar I figure they will create an even more valuable proposition its impressive they have embraced offline adverting its a rarity in the space.

Everest Takes Over From Mangas

What are the next markets for Mangas? Isabelle Parize, vice chairwoman, said “we are planning to launch Everest in Italy. ” (source EGR).

Perhaps the above sentiment has truly been taken to heart as Mangas announced today they re rebranding as BetClic Everest Group. ‎ Perhaps an unsurprising move given the http://www.mangasgaming.com site en construction message offered up on www.mangasgaming.com.

A significant power, Mangas Gaming has rapidly built and purchased a gaming portfolio comprising 4 diverse brands, Everest Poker, BetClic, Bet-at-Home and Expekt.  the challenge has always been how to amalgamate these disparate brands into one business.  The change to the above name gives some insight into their strategy for 2011.

The group offers, sports and horse-race betting, poker, casino, skill games and bingo in 25 languages.  Active in 100 countries and they claim to have 12 million customers, the group is spread over 25 countries.  One of their major markets is France where recent legislation has created some interesting hurdles for their brands but perhaps also the opportunity to dominate.

Led by Nicolas Béraud, Mangas Gaming boasts very impressive backers in the form of  “Lov Group” and “La société des Bains de Mer”.

 

 

 

US & Canada Take Major Gaming Stakes

Capital Research and TIAA-CREF’s decisions to recently invest in Playtech underscores the US interest in online gaming even amongst US equity funds, even though the majority of listed online gaming companies are outside of the US (Playtech is listed on the London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM)), and by US law, gaming companies cannot operate in the US.  Clearly online gaming is considered an area of significant attractiveness, this fact alone appears to be enough for global investment companies like these US equity funds.

Last week, Playtech notified the London Stock Exchange of Capital Research and Management Company taking a 5.49% stake. Capital Research is a unit of US money manager Capital Group Companies Inc., which has been around for 79 years.  Earlier in the month, Playtech announced TIAA-CREF Investment Management LLC and Teachers Advisors Inc.  acquired a 3.02% holding in the company. TIAA-CREF stands for Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund, a huge US equity fund with almost $500 billion in assets under management, managing money for 3.6 million academics, healthcare providers, and employees of NPOs.

These events are not isolated earlier this year the National Lottery operator Camelot was sold to a Canadian teachers’ pension fund for £389m. Camelot, had been owned by a consortium that included Cadbury, and had been running the UK’s National Lottery since it began in 1994. The sale was looked at by the regulator, the National Lottery Commission National Lottery Commission approved the Camelot sale 2010.07.12. One of the factors in its decision was whether or not the national interest would be served by the sale. Camelot’s proposed buyer, the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan – known simply as Teachers’ – runs the pension fund for more than a quarter of a million Canadian teachers.

Cancelled IPO, but Ceasars Name Remains

Harrah’s still plans to change its name to Caesars Entertainment despite a recently cancelled IPO. The company cancelled the IPO due to “market conditions.”

Harrah’s had planned to change its name to Caesars Entertainment and under the symbol CZR on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. Harrah’s has about $23 billion in long-term debt, but the company has been taking steps to restructure its balance sheet, including issuing new notes to pay off maturing debt.

Analysts said Harrah’s cancelled the IPO because investors thought the price was too high and the company had too much debt. Harrah’s planned to use money from the IPO on two casino development projects in Ohio and to complete an unfinished 660-room hotel tower at Caesars Palace. Harrah’s also recently became involved in an effort to save a troubled casino project in Philadelphia.

In a filing last month, Harrah’s said its two private-equity owners would retain their controlling interests in the company if the company goes public again.  Revenues for Harrah’s have fallen from a peak of $10.8 billion in 2007 to $8.9 billion last year, an 18 percent decline.  In the third quarter that ended Sept. 30, Harrah’s said its net loss shrank to $164.8 million from a loss of $1.62 billion a year earlier.

Harrah’s operates 10 Vegas Strip casinos, including Caesars Palace, Bally’s, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood Resort and Harrah’s, along with the off-Strip Rio. The company is considered the world’s largest casino operator with 53 properties in six countries. Harrah’s also owns the World Series of Poker a leading Poker brand.

Perfect Storm Capital

Perfect Storm Capital aims to be an accelerator which plans to act like an angel investor, the accelerator will invest small amounts at early stages,  investment  will be targeted at teams and concepts related to on-line gaming.

Companies successful in receiving support typically:

Have a viable addressable market of at least £20m where the accelerator can add unique value.

Have strong, defensible intellectual property.

Are in a position where investment can be meaningful in terms of helping the company progress and get to a stage where they could be attractive to next round angel/VC funding.

Have high risk, disruptive technologies.

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