November 1, 2013
KiwiTech, the Washington D.C.- based mobile technology company, will acquire a 75% stake in Ruckus Media Group, the three-year-old global children's digital media company and early entrant in the iOS application space.
Ruckus recently transitioned from award-winning, stand-alone applications to an eBook, video and interactive application portal featuring some of the nation's top brands including Crayola, Hasbro, SeaWorld, and Curious George, among many others. The Ruckus retail portal is supported by a content management system that allows price, store order and content changes to be served from the cloud and includes a user assessment platform that monitors content consumption and usage.
"The digital delivery software created by Ruckus has many potential uses in publishing, education and entertainment. KiwiTech's savvy management team (founders of the worldwide digital publishing pioneer Aptara) has been a leader in digital technology solutions and is uniquely positioned to bring this platform to market worldwide and to build out additional cloud based features," says Rick Richter, Ruckus Founder and CEO. Mr. Richter, who will exit the company following the acquisition, added "I am deeply grateful to our investors and partners, who showed early and consistent confidence in our vision, and to our tremendously talented and tenacious staff who helped Ruckus reach millions of families worldwide. It will be satisfying to see Ruckus thrive in new hands."
"With Ruckus, Rick and his talented team have created a new benchmark in children's digital content and parental involvement. We believe our team's two decades of publishing technology experience can prove pivotal at Ruckus' present inflection point. KiwiTech has the infrastructure and bandwidth to stay true to the company's vision and help Ruckus achieve market scale. We look forward to working with Jason Root, who has been a true partner with Rick," said Rakesh Gupta, KiwiTech Chairman & CEO.
The Ruckus Wilton CT office will close effective November 1st, but the company will remain Connecticut based. Jason Root, previously Ruckus' Chief Content Officer, will assume the role of CEO of Ruckus Media Group and report to Rakesh Gupta, KiwiTech CEO. Mr. Richter will remain as an advisor to the company until the transition is completed. Venture capital firm Alsop Louie Partners has retained a minority stake in the company post closing. Additional terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
KiwiTech is a mobile app company providing services to publishing, healthcare, financial and other verticals. KiwiTech has developed over 750 apps for iPhone, Android, HTML5 and Windows8 platforms. KiwiTech has also created mobile products, such as Sensery, Brillatta and KiwiCrop. With over 3 million downloads, KiwiTech is fast gaining recognition as a premier mobile app company, with apps featured in BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and other publications. KiwiTech apps have achieved top rankings in app stores in Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, U.K., India and U.S.A. An innovative, new-age company, KiwiTech is reaching its fast-growing list of followers through Facebook and Twitter and other social media outlets. www.kiwitech.com
About Ruckus Media Group
Ruckus Media Group creates award-winning interactive applications for mobile devices designed to entertain and educate children. The company's latest release, the Ruckus app platform delights children with interactive storybooks featuring favorite brands (Hasbro, Crayola, SeaWorld); ReadAlong eBook versions of celebrated titles (Curious George, The Polar Express); original content from top names in entertainment (Butch Hartman); and Video content from the best in children's TV and music (Sid the Science Kid, The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That!, KidzBop). The company's award-winning Spot the Dot app with David A. Carter recently was published as a book by Scholastic Inc.
Since the company's launch, Ruckus has been recognized with more than 30 parenting and app awards, including a Mom's Choice Gold Award for the #1 iTunes bestselling "My Little Pony: Twilight Sparkle, Teacher for a Day," based on the ever-popular Hasbro toy characters and a 2012 Kidscreen iKids award for the Crayola Ruckus Readers, among many others. For a full listing of titles and additional information, please visit the company's website as well as the Ruckus at the App store and follow Ruckus on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.