MindJolt's DeWolfe Says Acquisitions Are Not Just About Consumers, But Also Advertisers
The two gaming acquisitions announced by MindJolt tonight are not just about creating a seamless game experience across social, mobile and the Web.
In an interview, Chris DeWolfe, the former CEO of Myspace who purchased MindJolt early last year, told eMoney it’s about the advertiser.
“The idea is that people should be able to play their games everywhere they want and whenever they want,” DeWolfe said. “With 25 to 30 million unique users, there’s critical mass of users there. We can go to ad agencies and to top media buyers and integrate their brands into our games.”
MindJolt has acquired SGN, a developer and publisher of social mobile games, and Hallpass Media, a popular free online game network.
“We’ve been profitable since day one,” DeWolfe said. “We have a really strong core competency in ad sales. We added the AdJolt platform nine months ago, which we provided to publishers. That bumped revenues by a significant percentage, which made us more profitable.”
He said the acquisitions were paid for through a combination of capital raised from Austin Ventures, some equity and cash from profits. He declined to discuss how much capital had been raised.
While MindJolt has been primarily focused on ad-supported content, it also sees opportunities in selling virtual goods.
“We are big on virtual goods as a revenue stream moving forward, but we didn’t have social games that lent themselves to virtual goods [before the acquisition of Hallpass],” said DeWolfe. “Ninety percent of revenues before came from advertising, but we expect it be 50-50 in the next 18 months.”
When it comes to competing against other powerhouses, such as Electronic Arts and Zynga, DeWolfe said they still have a long way to go.
“We aren’t trying to puff ourselves up and say we are competing with Electronic Arts right now, given their girth and experience and revenue streams. Zynga is a monster, too,” he said. “We are just doing something a little different and focusing equally on all three platforms, and tying them together [in a way] that makes sense.”
Given that this marks DeWolfe’s third acquisition in the space, including his original purchase of MindJolt, is there more coming?
“We have a team of M&A people who are looking at deals. We want to digest these, but to the degree we can buy something and put them under one of our three platforms, we would do that tomorrow,” he said. “We wouldn’t do any major acquisitions in the near future, but smaller ones could be viable in the next month or so.”
So, does a small acquisition rule out Myspace, which also happens to have been put on the market right now by its owner News Corp.? (News Corp. also owns this website.)
“We aren’t willing to talk about any specific acquisition targets at this time,” DeWolfe said. “We’ll see what happens. We are all reading about [the sale of Myspace] like everyone else.”