RealTime IT News

Games Getting Expensive

uproar.com, an online entertainment destination, Wednesday acquired iwin.com, a games-for-prizes and Internet lottery site, in a deal valued at nearly $100 million.

Uproar will exchange 14.7 million of its shares for all outstanding Iwin equity.

Iwin.com, a privately held firm, officially launched last November. The company backing comes from venture capital investors including Rader Reinfrank & Co. LLC, Transatlantic Venture Fund and Ridgewood Capital.

Individual investors include Randall Kaplan, co-founder of Akamai Technologies; Al Checchi, former chairman of Northwest Airlines; Richard Janssen, co-founder of HomeStore.com; Howard Marks, chief executive officer, Yipinet; and Kevin Wendle, co-founder, CNET and Fox Broadcasting Co.

As entrepreneurs lined up to get easy-to-remember domains, things got a little confusing. Iwin.com has no connection to Iwon.com, a portal which gives away cash and prizes to site visitors. Iwon.com has received a substantial amount of publicity since it launched last October thanks to its partnership with CBS Inc. which also has a major stake in the site.

The combination of electronic fun and games is a win-win situation for all, according to Fred Krueger, founder and chief executive officer, iwin.com.

"iwin and Uproar have very similar target audiences, but offer users significantly different and extremely complementary content," he said. "Uproar's strong multi-player games category blends perfectly with iwin's games-for-prizes and Internet lottery content.

"Together, we are going to deliver a full spectrum of online entertainment to a much broader combined audience. This is truly a win-win proposition for our users, advertisers, and stockholders," he said.

According to Media Metrix, Uproar ranked as the 38th most visited Web property with 5.8 million unique users, and iwin.com ranked 59th with 4.7 million unique users in June 2000.

Media Matrix expects this transaction to increase Uproar's user audience to approximately 9.2 million, which would place it as the 20th most visited Web site on the Internet.