New investment from Ventech adds to €9 million already raised in November’s second round of fundraising.

Muzicall, Europe’s leading provider of ringback tone (RBT), services announced today that it has received an additional €2.1million in investment from new investors Ventech, a venture capital firm with more than €360 million under management. This new investment comes four months after Muzicall announced its successful second round of fundraising, which saw the company raise €9 million from new and existing investors. The additional funds will enable Muzicall to accelerate its plans to make RBTs available to all European mobile phone users.

We are delighted to receive this additional investment. It will add significant momentum to our expansion throughout Europe; it also demonstrates the faith of the investor community in the potential of ringback tones,” said Patrick Allainguillaume, CEO of Muzicall. “Mobile content is incredibly popular with European consumers, but ringback tones have struggled to achieve the penetration and revenue rates that other parts of the world have experienced. Our pioneering and unique vision of managed services, combined with a strong marketing-led approach means this year will see a determined drive to increase consumer awareness of RBTs, and increased awareness is proven to significantly increase revenues.

In Europe, only about two per cent of mobile users currently have a ringback tone whereas in parts of Asia that number is approximately 40-50 per cent. Muzicall’s managed service solution couples marketing expertise that is aimed at raising awareness of ringback tones with its unique approach of enabling RBTs to be sold (for the first time) through multiple sales channels. These channels include On Deck and Off Deck platforms, retail channel development, OEM distribution as well as affiliate partnerships and a strong presence on popular application stores.

The increasing demand for ringback tones that Muzicall is experiencing in Europe is reflected in recent reports, such as IDC, which predicts that “ringback tones will overtake ringtones in 2010 and become the single largest revenue source for mobile entertainment”.

When operators look at what services to provide to their customers a key factor is the average revenue per user, or ARPU, and the ARPU for ringback tones is significantly higher than for other services, such as ringtones or games,” said Jean Bourcereau, general partner at Ventech. “Put simply, operators make more money from fewer people with ringback tones; and when you consider the huge untapped market for RBTs in Europe, the fact that they cannot be pirated, they are affordable for the consumer and they are incredibly ‘sticky’, then it is easy to see why we chose to invest in Muzicall.

Ringback tones replace the ‘ring ring’ sound a caller hears before their phone call is answered. Ringback tones typically consist of music, however, the customer can also choose from TV and movie themes, sound effects and numerous other sounds, even advertising. Muzicall’s RBT.4.ALL platform enables customers to create their own content library, giving them the ability to assign a different tune for different callers, thereby creating a very rich and personalised experience.

Editor’s Note: Muzicall will be available at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from 15 – 18 February on stand AV90.

About Muzicall
Muzicall is Europe’s leading specialist ringback tone service provider that operates and develops ringback tone services for major European telecommunications providers. Founded in 2004, Muzicall is backed by BlueRun Ventures LLC, Thule, ORKOS, Veddis Ventures, GP Bullhound and Ventech.

Muzicall’s proprietary RBT.4.ALL platform is at the heart of the company’s solutions, opening the ringback tone opportunity for direct-to-consumer retailers and media brands and greatly increasing the ringback tone service capability for Muzicall’s customers, which include Vodafone, T-Mobile and Orange group companies.

Muzicall works in partnership with its customers, investing in marketing and systems and bringing its knowledge and experience to grow sustainable revenues for its partners. 
Further information can be found at www.muzicall.com

About Ventech (www.ventechvc.com)
Ventech is a venture capital firm with more than €360 million ($540 million) under management. Since 1998, Ventech has been partnering with the best entrepreneurs in Information Technology and Life Sciences sectors. With offices in Paris and Beijing, Ventech selects and finances the most ambitious European and Chinese projects and backs them to gain a global leadership position. 
Follow us on Twitter@Ventech_VC.