Specialist entertainment and media industry fund Edge Performance VCT has announced that it has agreed investments totalling £2m in innovative UK-based mobile social media player Handmade Mobile Entertainment.
Edge Performance is the UK’s biggest VCT with a slate of investments which already embraces live music, digital marketing and intellectual property licensing.
Handmade has developed a web, mobile and tablet platform for social media applications. Its first product, a dating and flirting app called Flirtomatic, attracted over 5m subscribers.
This month Handmade concluded a deal with Fremantle Television and ITV which has seen the launch of a ‘Take Me Out Flirting’-branded App to accompany the primetime Saturday night ITV entertainment show Take Me Out. The service is also live on web and mobile web at www.takemeoutflirting.com.
Edge Investment Manager David Fisher, who will join the Handmade board said:
“Handmade Mobile is making waves in one of today’s most exciting new entertainment markets – mobile apps. We are impressed by the quality of the company’s management and believe Flirtomatic is the first of string of new products.”
The CEO of Handmade Mobile is Neil Goldberg, a former Warner Pictures executive who was head of Sales and Corporate Development of Say Now, a voice based social network bought by Google in early 2011.
Goldberg said: “We are delighted to have secured investment from Edge Performance VCT. Edge’s real understanding of the entertainment business adds considerable value to Handmade’s future plans.”
Edge joins a syndicate of investors in Handmade which includes Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures, Seraphim Capital, Nauta Capital and Oxford Capital Partners. The investment in Handmade is the latest in a string of high-profile investments by Edge Performance VCT.
In November 2011 Edge paid £520,000 for a stake in Bob the Builder creator Keith Chapman’s company, Chapman Entertainment, home to children’s characters Roary the Racing Car and Fifi and the Flowertots; In December Edge announced that it had funded a £4.95m management-led buy-out of Coolabi, the Bagpuss-to-Purple Ronnie children’s licensing business.
Edge founder David Glick said:
“We announced in Summer 2011 that we would embark on our most ambitious programme of investment yet. These deals see us meeting that promise. Edge Performance VCT has already established itself as the biggest VCT in the UK. We are now showing our commitment to becoming the most active and successful investor in the entertainment and media sector”.