MTouche's venture receives global investment worth USD5.25 million

MTouche's venture is the collaboration or joint-venture between MTouche and Cellcast where back in January 2007...

mTouche Technology Berhad has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Cellcast plc, the interactive digital broadcaster listed on the AIM. They will develop interactive television services for broadcasters in Malaysia and Singapore using Cellcast's iTV (interactive television) formats and solutions, and mTouche's intelligent Short Messaging Platform, mTouche Interactive TV Platform for premium SMS and premium IVR services. At the same time, Cellcast will assist mTouche in the provision of mobile messaging services in Europe.

Now, this joint-venture is back again with more money to roll.

The investment from venture capitalist Canaan Partners is expected to give the joint-venture more financial muscle, not just for opex (operational expenditure) but also for financial optimization (hope so).

More about MTouche.

Press Release:

KUALA LUMPUR, 21 August 2007 – MESDAQ-listed mTouche Technology Berhad (“mTouche”) today announces that global venture capital firm Canaan Partners (“Canaan”) has invested a total of USD5.25 million in mTouche’s UK-based affiliate Cellcast plc. (“Cellcast”).

This investment by Canaan is buoyed by the increasingly strong demand for interactive digital entertainment in the Asia and South-East Asia regions. It is also seen as a significant shot-in-the-arm for global interactive digital broadcaster Cellcast as well as Cellcast SEA Limited (“Cellcast SE Asia”) - a joint venture company between mTouche and Cellcast.

Eugene Goh, CEO of mTouche hails Canaan’s investment in Cellcast as timely and apt in the current circumstance where he believes the largest and fastest growing mobile, television and online digital entertainment markets in the world are clustered around the Asia region.

“Our partnership with Cellcast has proven to be a success in helping mTouche leverage the ever-growing market and potential of digital entertainment in Asia. We see Canaan’s investment in Cellcast as positively strategic in terms of further business expansion and leadership consolidation.”

Canaan’s investment in Cellcast is an endorsement that speaks volumes for South East Asian-based managed IT companies. We are confident that with Canaan’s financial backing, and the existing mTouche-Cellcast’s joint venture, Cellcast SE Asia, will soon realize its ambitions to be the leading interactive media applications provider in the region.”

This year, Cellcast SE Asia, successfully launched Insomnia and CelebMania, two late-night interactive television show created for terrestrial television. Both shows broadcasted over TV3 using Cellcast’s Interactive Television (“iTV”) format and solutions, leveraging the mTouche™ Intelligent Short Messaging Platform, mTouche™ Interactive TV Platform for Premium Short Messaging Services (“SMS”) and Premium Interactive Voice Recognition (“IVR”) services. Viewers are able to participate in brain-teasers and quizzes, while being entertained with high-energy comedy sketches, musical acts and celebrity gossips.

New Business Structure

Cellcast is injecting its 50% holding in Cellcast SEA Limited (“Cellcast SE Asia”) into its new venture, Cellcast Asia Holdings (“Cellcast Asia”). Canaan’s investment brings Cellcast Asia’s enlarged share capital value to USD13.5 million.

Pankaj Thakar, Cellcast Asia’s new CEO, says, “The region’s rapid mobile penetration growth together with the significant expansion in the multi-channel television industry, are creating significant opportunities for Cellcast’s digital entertainment products. By combining the resources of Cellcast Asia with the strong market position of our partner mTouche, we are creating a powerful regional distribution capability with a combined network of relationships with over 20 leading regional broadcasters and over 30 telecoms operators.”

“The exciting participation of Canaan Partners will enable us to accelerate growth through investment in new formats and applications and the expansion of our management team to support our regional initiatives,” says Thakar.

Eugene Goh of mTouche ends, “The mobile trend in the region will create an enormous ripple of opportunities for interactive digital content and mTouche is confident that we will be able to introduce more innovative interactive media applications to the regional market through our excellent and fruitful partnership with Cellcast.”

About mTouche Technology Berhad:

mTouche Technology Berhad is involved in the provision of mobile short messaging technologies such as mTouche Intelligent Short Messaging Platform and mTouche Content Provisioning Platform. It is a forerunner and leader with expertise in mobile messaging technologies and interactive media applications (which includes television, radio and press) in South-East Asia with operations in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Australia, Hong Kong, Vietnam, India and China. mTouche Technology Berhad is listed as the provider of one of the world’s 31 hottest business ideas outside of the USA by Business 2.O on for M-Bit Networks – mTouche’s revolutionary peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing offering which facilitates the distribution of large amounts of content, Napster-style, over mobile networks.

About Cellcast plc:

Cellcast is an interactive digital broadcaster listed on the Alternative Investment Market (“AIM”) and is engaged in the design, development, manufacturing, marketing and sales of interactive television applications, formats and services and other telecommunication solutions/equipment in the United Kingdom and worldwide.

Headquartered in London, with associated operations in Paris, Beirut, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Sao Paolo and Shenzhen, Cellcast’s applications and programming are distributed on the Sky Digital platform in the UK and broadcast partners include Canal+ in France; Future TV, LBC, MBC, Dubai Television and Rotana in the Middle East; RedeTV in Brazil, Zee TV in India, and TV3 in Malaysia.

Cellcast Asia:

Cellcast Asia is a non-trading holding company whose principal investments will be its 100% holding in Cellcast Interactive India Pvt Limited and its 50% holding in Cellcast SE Asia.

Canaan Partners:

Canaan Partners is a leading global venture capital firm specializing in early-stage information technology and life sciences investments. Founded in 1987, Canaan Partners has $2.4 billion capital under management and has invested in more than 240 companies, completed 63 mergers and acquisitions, and brought over 50 companies public. The firm catalyzes the development of innovative mobile, Internet, Clean Tech, networking, semiconductor, enterprise software and services, biotechnology and medical devices to build next-generation market leaders. Canaan is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, and has offices in Connecticut, India and Israel.

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Jade Lo
Sirius PR Sdn Bhd
Tel: 03-7805 2700