RealTime IT News

Motorola Ups Stake in Codeonline

Motorola Ventures, the VC arm of Chicago-based Motorola Inc. has upped its stake in subscription-based interactive wireless gaming upstart Codeonline in a deal that includes investments from AOL Time Warner and Bertelsmann AG.

Motorola did not release terms of its equity investment, which is an expansion of a deal with Codeonline in February. Motorola's interest in Codeonline stems from the company's long-term plan to speed up the development and deployment of interactive mobile gaming on its cell phones worldwide.

Codeonline, which has headquarters in Finland, provides interactive wireless games to more than 250 million users worldwide. The company said it generated more than 50 million paid gaming transactions in 2001, making it a bona-fide player in the nascent wireless gaming market.

Original investors in Codeonline include Bertelsmann Capital Ventures, the VC arm of the German media conglomerate, AOL Times Warner Ventures, Wellington Partners, Spinno-Seed, Shamrock Capital and Eqvitec Partners.

Motorola is already distribution wireless versions of the ABC television game show "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" and other popular games like "Trivial Pursuit" and "Zobmondo" to partners worldwide.

Codeonline CEO Maija Hamalainen said the addition of Bertelsmann and AOL Time Warner as investors adds legitimacy to its business plan. "Our new strategic investors Bertelsmann Capital Ventures and AOL Time Warner Ventures strengthen Codeonline's financial base, and enable us to continue our success in the wireless entertainment marketplace," Hamalainen said.