Keesing Media Group, international leading publisher of puzzle magazines, takes an important step in its transformation to become a broad and international braintainment and brainhealth business. Today, the company announces that is has taken a stake in Mindsnacks, a company based in San Francisco that, among other things, has developed the brain training app Elevate, which achieved over 20 million downloads. Globally, Mindsnacks is in the top 3 app developers in the field of brain training and brain health. The companies will work closely together, where Mindsnacks will also be developing specific apps for Keesing.
With its participation in Mindsnacks, Keesing is taking a giant leap in fleshing out its digital strategy. Keesing will get access to the development and marketing strengths as well as the technological platform of Mindsnacks. In addition to Keesing the well-known Silicon Valley investor Sequoia Capital also has a stake in Mindsnacks. Now that is has broadened and strengthened its position in Europe, this collaboration gives Keesing access to the US market. In 2014, the Elevate app was voted ‘App of the Year’ by Apple, former winners being Instagram and Periscope, to name a few.
“Our digital development is gathering tremendous speed with this participation”, says Philip Alberdingk Thijm, CEO of Keesing Media Group. “We now have access to one of the best app developers in Silicon Valley. This gives us the opportunity to start marketing new, prime quality and strongly personalised applications very rapidly, as this is one of Mindsnacks trademarks. This is exactly where our future lies: personalised applications for people to tease their brain with, whether they want to do this for fun or to stay mentally healthy. The fun factor opens up the younger market, while brain health offers great opportunities among the ageing population,” according to Alberdingk Thijm.
The CEO emphasizes the fact that Keesing continues to be a company with a broad perspective, with its current puzzle books continuing to play an important role in the future. “Consumers want digital and print. The look&feel of a printed booklet has a magical quality for many people,” he says. Keesing’s growth strategy focuses on digitization but also on the extension of print volumes, through takeovers, and on capitalizing on specific trends, e.g. colouring books for adults and educational games for kids.
The participation in Mindsnacks is the fourth transaction in one year’s time by Keesing and its shareholders Ergon Capital Partners, TMG and its Management. Earlier, three takeovers in the European puzzle market were realized. Keesing has a turnover of 150 million Euro, and employs 340 people in 11 countries.