Monday, October 04, 2004

A new Gold Rush!

When I arrived in San Francisco early 2001, the dot-com bubble was about to burst. Just a couple of weeks later, I met this CEO of a small company at a party and he told me he didn't believe the good times were over. He said that after spending 20 years in the Silicon Valley or so, not only it always comes back, but it even gets more crazy each time. I told the guy that I believed the next one was going to be about wireless and that I wanted to be here when it happens. Well, it is happening now, right now!

It is true that the Highway 101 is getting more crowded these days (which is probably a credible symptom by the way!) but I have some more concrete arguments to raise. One thing: we are not talking about the entire economy here, but definitely about the mobile entertainment industry.

I have done a little bit of homework, and here is how CRAZY has been the past summer when it comes to investment and acquisitions:

  • Sorrent raised $20M, third round, July 2004
  • Airborne Entertainment raised $22M, August 2004
  • In-Fusio raised $27M, August 2004
  • Idetic raised $15M, second round, August 2004
  • Agilix Labs raised $4.35M, August 2004
  • Digital Chocolate:
    • Acquired Sumea, June 2004
    • Raised $13M, 2nd round, August 2004
  • Mforma
    • Raised $44M, 1st round, June 2004
    • Raised $19M, 2nd round, August 2004
    • Acquired FingerTwitch, August 2004
    • Acquired Blue Beck, August 2004

To conclude this crazy summer, Digital Bridges signed a development deal with EA and Jamdat went IPO, a few days ago, raising about $61M, and their stock rose over 40% 1st day of trade!

So now open up your eyes... About a quarter of a billion dollars has been invested into these companies, in the last 3 months! We may not (and should probably not) talk about a bubble yet, since these guys are making money, probably even more than projected a few years ago. But it looks like VCs have been considering investing all at once, just like if they were scared to be out of the game.

This is a very exciting time right now, and I believe the industry has just entered into something big, a new gold rush full of opportunities, and I hope this will get better, crazier and even more fun than the previous one! Later this month, I do not want to miss the Mobile Entertainement Summit.