FUN Technologies

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FUN Technologies Inc.
Genre Online gaming
Fate Acquired by Liberty Media
Founded 2002
Founder Lorne Abony, Andrew Rivkin
Headquarters Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Subsidiaries WorldWinner

FUN Technologies was an online game company based in Toronto. Founded in 2002 by Canadian businessmen Lorne Abony and Andrew Rivkin,[1] FUN grew to become the world's largest provider of online casual games and fantasy sports, with over 35 million registered customers. FUN was publicly traded with a full listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2003 and Toronto Stock Exchange in 2004. Abony was its Chief Executive Officer when FUN was listed on the TSX, making him the youngest CEO of any company listed on the exchange.[2]

FUN was one of the fastest growing companies in the history of the Toronto Stock Exchange.[3] In less than three years, the company raised over $160 million in five rounds of equity financings, including its IPO. FUN completed eight strategic acquisitions for a total consideration of $128 million. In March 2006, American media giant Liberty Media acquired FUN[4] in a transaction valuing the company at $484 million.[5]

In September 2006 FUN Technologies held the first WorldWide Web Games, a competition with a $1 million grand prize aiming to find the "world's best casual gamer". The competition had 71 contestants and featured the casual games Bejeweled 2, Solitaire, and Zuma The top prize was awarded to a young woman of Odessa, TX named Kavitha Yalavarthi (now Kavitha Shah.)[6]

SkillJam, founded by Justin Beckett in 1999 as EGamesGroup before being acquired by Los Angeles based EUniverse on November 8, 2001, was acquired by FUN Technologies in 2004. The SkillJam website used to have online skill-based games, including the exclusive license to Pop Cap's Bejeweled for cash and prizes, sudoku, chess,[7] Zuma, Big Money! and Dynomite,[8] as well as partnerships with service providers like DirecTV offering its game tournaments via DirecTV's set top boxes.[9]

In 2006 FUN acquired its Newton, Massachusetts-based competitor WorldWinner, an established tournament games platform with a large portfolio of games, including Scrabble Cubes, solitaire and Luxor, founded by Alex Bloom (Saidakovsky), Alex Ganelis, and Daniil Utin in 1999.[10] It merged SkillJam into WorldWinner.com in 2007, dropping the SkillJam brand.[8]

In December 2007, Liberty Media acquired FUN Technologies.[11] As a result of the acquisition, WorldWinner began to be integrated with the Liberty-owned Game Show Network, and FUN Technologies was discontinued as a brand.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Securing a second success, eGaming Review magazine, December 7, 2005
  2. ^ Thomas Watson (March 14, 2005). "Fun and games". Canadian business weekly. Archived from the original (Magazine Article) on June 29, 2006. Retrieved 2005-03-14. 
  3. ^ Deloitte (2005). "WorldWinner Ranks Sixth on Deloitte's Technology Fast 50 List". Deloitte's Technology Fast 50. Retrieved 2009-05-26. 
  4. ^ Marketwire (October 1, 2007). "Liberty Media Corporation to Acquire Fun technologies" (NewsWire). CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  5. ^ Peter C.Newman (October 1, 2007). "The New Masters Of The Universe: Lorne Abony". Globe & Mail. Archived from the original on 2007-10-23. Retrieved 2007-10-01. 
  6. ^ Casual gamer gets serious prize, GameSpot, September 12, 2006
  7. ^ Potter, Beth (2005-11-23). "Liberty has a go at games on the Web.". The Denver Post. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "FUN Technologies' Skill Games Network Reaches Industry Record of More than 30 Million Players Globally". Marketwire (press release). 2007-03-06. Archived from the original on 2009-08-25. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  9. ^ "Fun Tech partners with DirecTV". The Boston Globe. 2007-02-15. Archived from the original on 2009-08-25. Retrieved 25 August 2009. 
  10. ^ "WorldWinner.com Launches Online Gaming Site that Rewards Skilled Players with Cash Prizes; New Gaming Destination Brings the Thrill of Competition to Familiar Games. - Free Online Library". www.thefreelibrary.com. Retrieved 2016-06-03. 
  11. ^ "Liberty Media Corporation Completes Acquisition of FUN Technologies Inc.". Press release. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  12. ^ Viscarolosaga, Efrain. "WorldWinner’s parent plans a whole new game". Mass High Tech. Retrieved 5 February 2012.