PI Capital completes £3 million investment round for mobile gaming company Million-2-1

PI Capital completes £3 million investment round for mobile gaming company Million-2-1, April 2006
Pi Capital, the independent private equity house, today announces the successful
completion of a £3 million private equity investment round for fast-growing mobile
gaming company Million-2-1 (Million-two-one).
Million-2-1 creates, develops and manages a range of ‘soft’ gambling games, such as
lotteries, games of skill and auctions, which are played via SMS on mobile phones, via
the television, radio and the internet. The company’s proprietary star game is How
Lo?®, a reverse auction game where the lowest unique bid at the close of the auction
wins. To date, Million-2-1 has run over 900 reverse auctions, the largest generating
nearly 500,000 bids with the winner paying just £123.82 for the choice of a groundbreaking
£125,000 Ferrari F430 or £100,000 in cash.
Million-2-1 has a strong pipeline of new products, games and formats covering skillbased
prize competitions, lotteries, casino gaming and java games. These include a plan
to re-launch the Manchester lottery later this year, to capitalise on the new Gambling
Act 2005, which will be fully implemented by Autumn 2007.
The games are marketed and distributed through various media partners, including radio
and television stations, mobile operators, magazines, football clubs and direct to the
consumer via the Million-2-1 web site.
In addition, the company has started to launch its products internationally by partnering
with local companies. Million-2-1 currently has agreements in place in China, Australia,
the Netherlands and Ireland and will be launching in the USA, Spain and South Africa
later this year.
Mobile gambling is a fast-emerging sector, which is projected – by Informa Media, a
leading global telecoms business intelligence provider – to grow from $1.2 billion of
annual revenues to $6.7 billion by 2010. Television is also a rapidly expanding area for
soft gambling, with Datamonitor estimating that the market for interactive television
gambling was worth over $7 billion last year and would grow at close to 60% annually.
Mike Luckwell, an existing Pi Capital Member, with a strong background and very
successful track record in television and media, is joining the company as Chairman. He
is a former Managing Director of Carlton Communications plc and was the company’s
largest shareholder when he reversed his television and media group The Moving
Picture Company into Carlton in the early 1980s. Following his resignation from
Carlton in the late 1980s he was a significant shareholder in brand-name companies such
as WPP and TV-am and he has held a number of senior positions in a variety of
successful television and media companies.
Chris Sheffield, Founder and Chief Executive of Million-2-1, said:
“We have ambitious expansion plans for the company, to capitalise on the projected
growth in televised and internet-based gambling and on our increasing number of
international partnership deals, and this current round of financing from Pi Capital gives
us the financial strength to carry these out.”
Paul Thomas, Managing Director of Pi Capital, said:
“Million-2-1 is one of the most dynamic companies in the mobile gambling sector and a
truly pioneering company in the SMS based segment. Chris Sheffield is a successful
entrepreneur who has a track record of delivering successful returns to private equity
investors. I think this is a very exciting deal for Pi members.”
Mike Luckwell, Chairman of Million-2-1, said:
“I am delighted to become Chairman of Millon-2-1, which is very well placed to
capitalise on the strong growth expected in the mobile gambling sector and become a
leader in the industry.”

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