New York-based Cafe.com has sold its global games distribution platform Boonty to French content distribution provider Nexway for an undisclosed sum in an all-cash deal. As CEO Roman Nouzareth explains on the blog post announcing the sale, Boonty was the initial company when it was founded in 2001, and aimed to use the large Web portals to sell online games directly, while social gaming network Cafe.com (our earlier review) was more of a side project originally started at the end of 2006 that became a significant player in the casual online gaming market after its launch in May 2008.
The founding brothers Roman and Matthieu Nouzareth want to focus 100% on growing Cafe.com rather than having Boonty compete with the distribution platforms of the big guys i.e. the App Store, Xbox Live, iTunes, Wiiware, etc. so this was likely a firesale although in the blog post Roman Nouzareth states that the download platform was operating at a profit as of late. The company raised a total of $10 million back in 2005.
The cash from the acquisition deal will be fully reinvested in Cafe.com. We’d never heard of Nexway to date, but the French company seems to be doing relatively well in the content distribution space with 1 million downloads in 2008 and a turnover of 30 million euros.