In yet another deal in the Bulgarian entrepreneurial ecosystem combat-sports game streaming service Fite was acquired by US-based TrillerNet.
In this country, the platform operates through Flipps Media company, and one of the first investors in the business was LAUNCHub Ventures.
The price of the deal was not disclosed but the fund said it was its biggest exit to date. Market sources say the business was valued at tens of millions of dollars, which makes it one of the largest sales in the Bulgarian technological sector. Another Bulgarian fund, BrightCap Ventures, is also an investor in Fite.
TrillerNet owns the short video social app Triller, the streaming service TrillerTv and the combat sports streaming platform Triller Fight Club. The purchase is part of the company's strategy to expand its portfolio of video and streaming services in the area of entertainment content and combat sports.
"With our acquisition of FITE, we bring into TrillerNet their stellar technology, valuable customer and content partner base, and one of the most experienced executive teams in this space," Bobby Sarnevesht, chairman and co-owner of Triller, and Ryan Kavanaugh, co-owner of Triller, said in a joint statement. "The deal represents our ambitions to not only expand Triller Fight Club and grow FITE's distribution relationships, but also to reimagine what, how and when premium music, sports and entertainment is delivered to today's audiences."
LAUNCHub Ventures partner Lyuben Belov said: "Being a partner in Fite's journey, we witnessed their passion for becoming the worldwide leader in sports delivery and were impressed with their resilience to pursue their goals. We could not be happier for the great outcome, which is one of the largest exits in the local ecosystem.".
Over the past year TrillerNet has acquired a series of international businesses. Besides the acquisition of Fite, the company completed the purchase of customer engagement platform Amplify.ai, which provides advertisers and influencers with data on how consumers interact with content and ads, Reuters reported. In March TrillerNet became owner of livestream music platform Verzuz. According to Reuters' information, the total value of these deals in the past 18 months, including Fite and Amplify.ai, is about 250 million dollars.
The Bulgarian company was set up in 2012 under the name of Flipps and started operating as a platform for online video content distribution. Several years later the team focused the business on combat sports and created the Fite streaming platform.
The company has offices in Bulgaria and the Untied States. In Bulgaria it reported 1.4 million levs revenue (716,000 euro) for 2019 and profit topping 100,000 leva. Owner of the Bulgarian company is US-based Flipps Media.
The platform has over 10 million users and has streamed more than 5,000 live events. Crunchbase data show that Fite has raised a total of 11.2 million dollars of financing. One of the first investors in the company was Bulgarian LAUNCHub, which later injected cash in a few more rounds. Other investors include Tim Draper and Earlybird Digital East, as well as BrightCap Ventures.
"LAUNCHub Ventures' support through the years has been essential for the continued success of our business. I am certain we will witness much more sales of companies in their portfolio," Fite co-founder and CEO Kosta Jordanov commented. This is the second exit for LAUNCHub Ventures in the past month. In late March the fund announced the sale of CleanShelf, which was acquired by Germany's software group LeanIX. In the past few years LAUNCHub Ventures has exited from companies like Cloudpipes, BGMenu and Connecto.