Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Recent Fundings in the Social Gaming Industry

Hollywood Interactive Group, Inc. MyHollywood.com - $5 million Series A. Investors: Led by BlueRun Ventures. Combining games, Hollywood gossip, avatars, and social networks to appeal to a female casual gamer. When I was still running Tenuki, I met with some of their exec team back in Feb. at the GDC. They have ambitious plans and a strong team. I imagine their current site will be evolving rapidly.

Challenge Games. $10 million Series B. Investors: Led by Globespan (their $4.5 million first round was led by Sequoia). Creates online roleplaying games, Duels and Baseball Boss. Both games use game mechanics common to many popular (or previously popular Facebook games). Both games have considerably more polish than your standard social game. Duels has a Facebook app presence, but it's little more than a funnel to their normal site. It has a paltry 1100 monthly users. $14.5 million in funding for games that are essentially Facebook games is a great argument for people to start moving their properties off Facebook.

ROBOTGALAXY. $5 million (on $25 million post-money valuation) Series B. Investors: Led by Bachmann Industries (their manufacturing partners who invested $7 million in their A round. Combining customized robot toys with an online virtual world (i.e. Webkins with robots).

Big Fish Games. $83 million. Investors: Balderton Capital, General Catalyst Partners, and Salmon River Capital. Combines downloadable casual games with light social networking site. 50.3 million in revenue last year. So why raise a big round? Methinks, they are looking to change business models or expand into a new market (they've already made a successful move into Nintendo DS games).

Raptr. $12 million Series A. Investors: Accel Partners and Founders Fund. The social network for playing games that aggregrates player data from various platforms (Xbox, Wii, PC games). You can read my thoughts about it here.