November 20, 2006 10:00 PM China/Taiwan
SEOUL, Korea & ENGLEWOOD, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--GoPets, Ltd. (“GoPets”) announced today that it has received a strategic investment from Liberty Media Corporation (Nasdaq:LCAPA) (Nasdaq:LINTA) (“Liberty”). Based in Seoul, Korea, GoPets (www.gopets.net) is a world of interactive 3D pets that roam freely across the Internet, visiting desktops of community members to socialize, play games and create global friendships among GoPets players. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
“We are deeply honored to play a role in Liberty’s expansion into online gaming and services,” said GoPets’ CEO, Erik Bethke. “Everyone here is excited to be able to expand upon our vision for the future of GoPets with the help of Liberty’s vast knowledge of building long-term relationships with large numbers of consumers as accomplished at QVC, Discovery and the Game Show Network,” continued Mr. Bethke. “I believe our combination of ‘People, Pets and Games’ makes us a strong fit for Liberty.”
GoPets, chosen by Red Herring in August, 2006, as one of the 100 hottest startups in Asia, is a truly global online entertainment network which allows users to form friendships across language barriers and country borders. The pets have distinctive personalities and learn from their exploration with other users and other pets. GoPets creates an engaging adventure with members buying houses, decorating their gardens, dressing their pets, throwing parties and playing a variety of mini games.
“GoPets represents an exciting online entertainment experience for consumers all over the world. It is a perfect marriage of casual gaming and social networking, targeted at the women’s audience that Liberty knows well. We are thrilled to welcome the leaders and employees of GoPets into the Liberty family and we look forward to generating growth through the collaboration between GoPets and Liberty's other gaming companies such as Fun Technologies, and GSN – The Network for Games,” said Michael Zeisser, Senior Vice President of Liberty Media. Mr. Zeisser added, “As with Fun Technologies, operator of SkillJam, Worldwinner, and Fanball, in which we invested earlier in 2006, we believe in the power of video to build brands in casual games. GoPets is a compelling addition to our strategy."
Other key investors in GoPets include Tencent Holdings Limited and Nexon Corporation. Tencent provides a wide range of Internet and mobile value added services, such as instant messaging, online games and virtual pets, to the largest online community in China and Asia. Nexon is the operator of Crazyracing Kartrider in Korea.
Martin Lau, President of Tencent, said, "We feel excited about the strategic value and operational benefits to be created out of this global line-up which puts GoPets in a more advantageous position to develop and market its innovative products worldwide."
Nexon’s Chairman, Jay Kim, had this to add, “Nexon is thrilled that Liberty has placed their investment and confidence in GoPets. With Liberty’s pragmatic management, GoPets is now set to be a force to be reckoned with in the Casual Games sector." Mr. Kim has also assumed a seat on GoPets’ Board of Directors.
The transaction closed during the fourth quarter of 2006. Liberty will attribute GoPets to its Liberty Capital tracking stock group.
About Liberty Media Corporation
Liberty Media Corporation is a holding company that owns interests in a broad range of electronic retailing, media, communications and entertainment businesses. Those interests are attributed to two tracking stock groups: the Liberty Interactive group, which includes Liberty's interests in QVC, Provide Commerce, IAC/InterActiveCorp and Expedia, and the Liberty Capital group, which includes all of Liberty's assets that are not attributed to the Liberty Interactive group, including Liberty's interests in Starz Entertainment Group and News Corporation.
About GoPets, Ltd.
GoPets Ltd. was established in Seoul, South Korea in 2004. GoPets, located at www.gopets.net, is a virtual community of pets that interact with each other and other users all over the world. Currently in an open beta phase in fifteen languages and eight territories around the world, GoPets recently surpassed the 450,000 registered user mark, with user numbers set to grow explosively in the coming months thanks to major marketing partnerships, promotional activities, and cross-platform releases early in 2007.
Liberty Media Corporation
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Only 12 years after getting my degree in journalism for my first real all-over-the-world press release. I don't know whether to have a drink or pass out.