Ripe Digital Entertainment, the LA-based digital entertainment company backed by Hearst-Argyle (NYSE: HTV) and Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) investments, has closed down, we have confirmed from sources, and the remaining management is trying to sell the company’s assets. The news was first reported on DHD. Ripe was founded in 2004, and lived for a long time as a male-focused VOD shorts provider, targeting guys ages 18-34. It raised at least $45 million in its lifetime, with Hearst-Argyle putting up the majority of the money: as of Q1 this year, Hearst-Argyle owned about 23.4 percent of RDE on a fully diluted basis, according to its SEC filings. Other investors included Time Warner Investments, Columbia Capital, and Rho Ventures. The founders included Ryan Magnussen, Patrick Bradley and Steven Voci, all three of whom were founding partners for interactive agency Zentropy, which sold to Interpublic 1999.
Ripe had VOD distribution on Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) and Time Warner, and over the years started three main brands — RipeTV (men’s entertainment), OctaneTV (auto), and FlowTV (urban) — but was bleeding money, as evidenced from brief statements in Heart-Argyle’s SEC filings.
This continues the mini-bloodbath in the online original video entertainment space, with others such as ManiaTV and 60Frames shutting down earlier this year as well. Maybe someone ought to do a rollup of the remaining assets, for whatever that’s worth. See our earlier story today, “