Livewire Mobile is expanding its presence in the mobile content space with the acquisition of FoneStarz Media Group, a U.K.-based company that helps operators and handset manufacturers with their mobile media offerings.
The $2.3 million deal will expand Livewire’s market reach to more than 400 million subscribers at over 40 mobile operators in nearly 30 countries. FoneStarz founder and CEO Dave Moreau will become COO of the combined company, and Livewire CEO Matthew Stecker will remain in his post.
“We spent some time looking for a partner that offered a strategic fit in terms of product roadmap and territorial expansion,” Moreau said in a statement. “Scale is vital in this fast moving, global market and we believe Livewire Mobile and FoneStarz together will be able to provide a preeminent digital solution for mobile network operators, handset manufacturers and media businesses.”
Livewire Mobile plans to incorporate the FoneStarz platform into its Infuse integrated storefront solution for mobile operators, as well as its recently launched Mediadrome direct-to-consumer music service. The two companies’ combined mobile content offerings include application distribution, ringback, full-track music, video, advertising, ringtones, images and games.
FoneStarz services are currently deployed with operators including Vodafone, Hutchison 3 and O2 in countries including the U.K., Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, New Zealand, South Africa and Egypt. It works with a number of other top-tier operators and has content aggregation agreements with handset manufacturers including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and LG, and content licenses with more than 140 media companies, including Disney, Playboy, Turner, American Greetings and Manchester United.
FoneStarz posted sales of $4 million and had profits of about $200,000 in its 2010 fiscal year ended Nov. 30. Livewire may pay an extra $350,000 for the company if certain conditions are met by December 2011.