Counts Media announced today that it has closed $3.25 million in angel funding from an all-star lineup of investors and entertainment visionaries. The firm will use the proceeds to develop two major products that will launch in the summer of 2006, and to expand its management team with seasoned executives from the entertainment, design, and marketing fields.
The funding, which closed last year, was not announced until today because the company was operating in stealth mode. Now that the firm is launching its branded entertainment division and other consumer entertainment projects, Counts Media management will be laying out its portfolio of next-generation entertainment experiences.
Counts Media investors include Matt Goldman and his partners in the Blue Man Group; Broadway producers Robyn Goodman (Avenue Q - Tony Award Best Musical 2004, Altar Boyz) and Vivek Tiwary of Tiwary Entertainment Group (A Raisin in the Sun); and independent movie producer Barry Tatelman.
Counts Media is responsible for such projects as Yellow Arrow, a creative integrated entertainment experience that has spread to 280 cities in 22 countries. Yellow Arrow (www.yellowarrow.net) uses a unique online and mobile mapmaking product featuring actual yellow arrow stickers placed around the world.
Since first appearing on the streets of Manhattan's Lower East Side in May 2004, Yellow Arrow has caught the attention of publications such as The New York Times, Wired Magazine, Newsweek, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe, and has been featured on NPR and NBC. It's generated enormous interest in Europe, with features in such media as The London Times, Politiken, Liberation, Diari de Barcelona, and de Volkskrant.
"The world is our theater"
Investor Matt Goldman, one of the founders of the Blue Man Group, believes the firm has enormous potential to reinvent entertainment. "Instead of the cell phone being an additional distribution channel or for promotional tie-ins, Counts Media uses it as a kind of remote control required to participate in real-world entertainment adventures. Thus, future entertainment experiences will play out in multiple media, not just be available in different formats."
"Mobile devices will play a big role in our entertainment projects because they're affordable and almost everyone has one," explains CEO Michael Counts.
The company will introduce several products and properties in coming months.