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Date Jul 11, 2012
Source TA

TA Associates Completes Minority Investment in Forgame

Qiming Venture Partners and Ignition Capital Partners Join TA on Investment

BOSTON and HONG KONG - TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm, today announced it has completed a significant minority investment in Forgame Tech Co., Ltd, a leading developer and publisher of online, browser-based games. Qiming Venture Partners, one of the top early to growth stage venture capital firms in China, and Ignition Capital Partners, a premier private equity firm, partnered with TA Associates on the investment. Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

Founded in 2008, Forgame is one of the largest web game companies in China. Consisting of two game development brands, Feiyin and Jieyou, and a publishing platform, Weidong, Forgame has developed 28 cloud-based multiplayer online games, including Ming Dynasty, Soul Guardians, Soul Guardians 2, Fantasy Ascension, The Ninth Heaven and Legend of Chaos. These games are published not only through Forgame's Weidong 91wan.com platform, but also by over 100 platforms under the joint-publishing model. Moreover, 91wan.com has published more than 50 third-party licensed games as well, such as Re Xue San Guo and The Heroic Expedition. Under the “freemium” model, players can play all of Forgame's games for free, and purchase in-game virtual goods and privileges to enhance their gaming experience. As of June 2012, Forgame's publishing platform had more than 110 million registered users. The group is headquartered in Guangzhou, China.

“TA Associates, Qiming Venture Partners and Ignition Capital Partners are pleased to complete this investment in Forgame, the leader in the vibrant Chinese browser-based gaming industry,” said Jason Tan, Director – China, TA Associates Asia Pacific Ltd. “With a diversified revenue stream, proven content development capabilities and a comprehensive game distribution network, Forgame has achieved significant growth since its founding. Given its robust product pipeline across multiple game categories, we anticipate continued strong performance by Forgame.” Jason Tan and Edward F. Sippel, Managing Principal – Asia Pacific, TA Associates Asia Pacific Ltd., will join Forgame’s Board of Directors.

“We welcome TA Associates, Qiming Venture Partners and Ignition Capital Partners as the first institutional investors in Forgame,” said Kevin Wang, Chairman and CEO of Forgame. “They offer significant capital markets expertise as well as experience in the cloud-based games sector. We look forward to working closely with them as we further execute our strategies on new platforms such as mobile devices and tablets, and expand our international footprint with more new games and partnerships with developers and publishers in those regions.”

“We continue to see a favorable shift to browser-based, freemium games, with revenue from virtual goods sales expected to grow significantly,” said Hans Tung, Managing Partner, Qiming Venture Partners, who will also join Forgame’s Board of Directors. “As the free-to-play model allows a user to play without purchasing an expensive game console, it is particularly attractive in regions with historically limited console markets such as China, South Korea and continental Europe. We anticipate significant ongoing market opportunities for Forgame in these regions.”

O’Melveny & Myers LLP provided legal counsel to TA Associates, Qiming Venture Partners and Ignition Capital Partners. Jingtian Gongcheng provided legal services to Forgame.

About Forgame
Founded in 2008, Forgame Tech Co., Ltd is one of China's leading game companies. Forgame is dedicated to independent research and development of high-quality web games, and is known for its technical strength and creative game design capabilities. The company produces and publishes some of the most popular browser-based games in China, including the award-winning Ming Dynasty, Soul Guardians and The Ninth Heaven. Forgame is headquartered in Guangzhou, China. For more information, please visit www.forgame.com.

About TA Associates
Founded in 1968, TA Associates is one of the largest and most experienced middle-market growth private equity firms. The firm has invested in over 400 companies globally and has raised $18 billion in capital. With offices in Boston, Menlo Park, London, Mumbai and Hong Kong, TA Associates leads buyouts and minority recapitalizations of profitable growth companies in the healthcare, technology, financial services, business services and consumer industries. More information about TA Associates can be found at www.ta.com.

About Qiming Venture Partners
Qiming Venture Partners is an early to growth stage venture capital firm with offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. Qiming invests in young, fast-growing companies across China in the media and Internet, IT, consumer and retail, healthcare, and clean technology sectors. Since Qiming’s debut in 2006, the firm has established itself as a leading investment firm in China and currently manages four funds with over $1 billion in assets. For more information, please visit www.qimingventures.com.

About Ignition Capital Partners
Ignition Capital is a premier private equity firm located in Seattle, Washington, driven by the mission of building and expanding a select group of highly profitable, long-term businesses that occupy significant positions in their industries. With a focus on growth equity and specialized buyout investments, the team brings together a combination of domain focus, functional expertise and global operational experience with partners from leadership positions at Microsoft, McCaw Cellular Communications, AT&T Wireless, Cisco, Schlumberger, Starbucks and other industry leaders. Ignition Capital is part of an affiliated family of funds with over $2 billion under management. For more information, please visit www.igncap.com.