Shamrock Capital Backs App Roll-Up With $30 Million in FundingBy
Maple Media, a startup aimed at acquiring mobile applications, raised $30 million from Shamrock Capital Advisors to begin making deals.
Los Angeles-based Maple is looking to purchase apps in categories such as games, entertainment, social media and productivity tools. By managing the apps under one roof, Maple should be able to increase customer retention, ad sales and other revenue-enhancing efforts, according to Michael Ritter, the company’s chief executive officer.
“It’s our theory that there’s a lot of high quality gaming and app studios,” he said. “Now how do you take it to the next level?”
Made popular by the launch of Apple Inc.’s App Store in 2008, the market for apps is maturing, Ritter said. Much as entertainment executive Barry Diller built IAC/InteractiveCorp into an online giant by acquiring web-based companies such as Match.com, there is an opportunity to do the same in the mobile space, according to Ritter. Possible acquisitions include apps that serve as alarms, flashlights, photo-sharing tools and collage-making kits.
Ritter, 34, previously served in business development for Jam City Inc., a 7-year-old firm started by MySpace co-founder Chris DeWolfe that has grown to more than $400 million in sales, capitalizing on the growing market for mobile games. Clark Landry, Maple’s 39-year-old chief operating officer, was a co-founder of Shift, a social-media marketing company.
Their track record made the startup attractive, said Alan Resnikoff, the Shamrock partner who spearheaded the investment. He sees the same shift in the app market.
“Smartphone penetration has reached pretty high levels,” Resnikoff said. “People have an existing suite of apps they like. It’ll be less about new users and more about retaining the users that they have.”