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China’s Shanda (NSDQ: SNDA) Games is on a buying spree. Its latest acquisition is of Flash-based game distribution and monetization platform Mochi Media. The company expects the $80 million deal — $60 million in cash, and $20 million in equity retention agreements — to close in Q1.
Founded in 2006, S.F.-based Mochi Media raised $14 million over two rounds of funding from Shasta Ventures and Accel Partners. The company’s MochiAds ad network has grown to include over 15,000 online games; it also offers game development and analytics tools. Shanda Games will use Mochi Media’s platform to better monetize its own roster of MMORPGs and other browser-based games, but also to make inroads into the more “lightweight’ casual and social games market.
The deal comes less than a week after Shanda Games announced its purchase of fellow Chinese online game developer Goldcool Games; it’s the newly-IPOd company’s first U.S.-based purchase. (How ironic, then, that China has banned all foreign investment in its own online gaming industry).
Mochi Media will continue to operate as a standalone company post-acquisition, with co-founder and CEO Jameson Hsu staying on. Hsu told the WSJ that the company had “just recently” reached profitability in 2009. Release.