REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kabam™, the leading publisher of massively multiplayer social games (MMSGs), today announced it has raised $85 million in Series D funding to fuel its growth as the leader of the social gaming market for hardcore gamers. The round was co-led by Google Ventures and Pinnacle Ventures. Additional funding was provided by Performance Equity and SK telecom ventures, as well as previous financial investors Canaan Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Intel Capital. In conjunction with the investment, Google Ventures Partner Joe Kraus will join Kabam’s Board of Directors. This latest round brings the company’s total funding to $125 million.
“Kabam provides hardcore gamers using social networks two important benefits – a highly immersive, engaging game experience along with frictionless pricing and convenient access. We’ve tapped into a major shift in hardcore gamer behavior, as we create compelling social gaming experiences for traditional console and PC gamers,” said Kevin Chou, CEO of Kabam. “This round of funding enables us to build long term franchises and invest in amazing gaming experiences for our customers. We have a full pipeline of games and look forward to sharing more exciting news about our upcoming titles as we move through the year.”
Kabam has led the development of this new segment of social games by focusing on a distinctive target, “hardcore gamers,” and creating games that combine the highly immersive gameplay of massively multiplayer online games with the social connectivity and interaction of social games. All Kabam games feature synchronous play that allows players to form alliances and compete with millions of other players worldwide in real time.
The company has grown from 25 to over 400 employees in the past 16 months on the strong performance of its Facebook game lineup, Kingdoms of Camelot®, Dragons of Atlantis™, Glory of Rome™ and Global Warfare™. Kabam expects to release at least five more titles through the end of 2011. With the Series D investment, Kabam is expected to continue to expand and diversify its games portfolio, further international growth, particularly in Asia, and make additional acquisitions.
“Consumer game playing behavior is changing as a growing number of core gamers are moving their game play to social networks,” said Joe Kraus, Partner at Google Ventures. “Kabam was at the forefront in identifying and taking advantage of this trend and their rapid growth underscores the large opportunity in the market. Kabam is well-positioned to capture a leading share with its team, products and user base.”
The growth of games and core gamers playing on social networks has come rapidly and trends indicate an increasing crossover rate. Kabam recently conducted an independent social gamer survey with Information Solutions Group that indicates over 80% of people who play strategy and RPG-style social games also play games on “core platforms” such as consoles. Kabam will be releasing an in-depth report of this study in the coming months.
“Kabam has delivered strong growth by combining the ease of access of social networks with its free to play business model for hardcore games,” said Ken Pelowski, Founder and Managing Partner at Pinnacle Ventures. “This combination disrupts traditional game distribution and business models, substantially increasing consumer value while reducing business risk. We are excited to support Kabam’s commitment to leading the next wave of games and look forward to the company’s explosive growth around the world.”
For more information on Kabam, visit our official site at www.kabam.com, and also our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/kabam.
Kabam is leading the next wave of gaming – hardcore social games. The company’s studios focus on combining the best elements of traditional and social gaming to appeal to a growing audience of gamers looking for highly immersive social games. The first wave of Kabam’s new games for Facebook and leading media sites, including IGN “Readers’ Choice Facebook Game of 2010” Kingdoms of Camelot®, have been widely recognized for their depth of play and social interaction. Founded in 2006, Kabam has offices in San Francisco and Redwood City, Calif., Beijing, China and Luxembourg. More information about Kabam can be found at www.kabam.com.
About Google Ventures
Google Ventures seeks to discover and help develop great companies - we believe in the power of entrepreneurs to do amazing things. Our investments range from seed to late stage, across a broad range of industries, including consumer Internet, software, hardware, clean tech, biotechnology and health care. We embrace the challenge of helping young companies grow from the proverbial garage to global relevance. The Google Ventures team includes entrepreneurs, investors and innovators, along with some 26,000+ exceptional Googlers whose breadth of knowledge, experience and creativity constitute perhaps our most valuable resource. For more information, visit www.google.com/ventures.
About Pinnacle Ventures
Pinnacle Ventures is a private venture capital fund focused on providing debt and equity financing to early-stage companies across information technology, clean tech and health care. Pinnacle differentiates itself through the strength and diversity of its team, its creative and flexible financing alternatives and its unique approach to helping its portfolio companies achieve success. Some of the companies backed by Pinnacle Ventures include: Chegg, Cobalt Technologies, Diapers.com, Gilt Groupe, J-Boss, LifeSize, Miasole, Pandora, Right Media, SocialVibe, Visiogen, WiChorus and ZipCar. You may learn more about Pinnacle Ventures by visiting www.pinnacleventures.com.
About SK telecom ventures
Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, SK telecom ventures (www.sktvc.com) is a dedicated venture capital fund with US $100m under management that looks to make financial returns on investments through funding Internet, mobile, and digital media companies that can leverage the fund's sole limited partner, SK telecom. SK telecom ventures has an international reputation for delivering innovative media, mobile, and Internet services in the cutting-edge market of South Korea. It is leveraging its technology expertise and operational know-how to advance overseas into new markets such as the United States and China. SK telecom ventures is based in the United States but pursues investment opportunities globally and is willing to lead or co-lead investment rounds.
About Performance Equity
Performance Equity Management is a leading global private equity investment firm providing high quality private equity investment access to institutional clients worldwide. With committed capital of over $20 billion as of the most recent quarter end, its experience encompasses all areas of private equity investing including buyouts, venture capital, and mezzanine/distressed partnerships. Performance Equity also invests in direct buyout, venture and mezzanine/distressed debt opportunities. The Company is based in Greenwich, Connecticut.
About Canaan Partners Technology
Canaan Partners invests in visionary entrepreneurs and provides them the networks, insights and operational guidance required to build high-performance technology and healthcare companies. Founded in 1987, the firm has raised eight funds and completed more than 85 acquisitions and 53 IPOs. With $3 billion under management and a worldwide footprint, the firm is committed to catalyzing the growth of innovative digital media, communications & mobility, enterprise and clean tech companies. Among its successes are Active Network, the world’s largest directory of sports and recreational activities; Associated Content, the people’s media company; VOIP equipment supplier Acme Packet; DoubleClick, the leading online advertising solution; Match.com, the most popular online dating site in the world; and SuccessFactors, the global leader in on-demand performance and talent management solutions. Other Canaan investments include 3Crowd, blip.tv, Blurb, Cardlytics, Cortina Systems, iYogi, KABAM, Lending Club, ON24, PrimeSense, SandForce, SOASTA, Tremor Media and Zoosk. Canaan maintains a presence in California, Connecticut, New York, India and Israel. For more information visit www.canaan.com.
About Redpoint Ventures
Redpoint Ventures has helped entrepreneurs build innovative businesses that defy convention, shape the future, and change the world. From early investments in industry pioneers such as Netflix and TiVo, to emerging leaders like HomeAway and Fortinet and defining startups like Cloud.com, Formspring, and BlueKai – we stand behind our entrepreneurs helping them go all the way to the top. Founded in 1999, Redpoint (http://www.redpoint.com) manages $2 billion of capital and invests across the early- and early-growth stages. Its partners have been involved in 41 IPOs and 66 upside acquisitions. The firm is headquartered in Menlo Park, CA with offices in Los Angeles and Shanghai, China.
About Intel Capital
Intel Capital, Intel’s global investment organization, makes equity investments in innovative technology start-ups and companies worldwide. Intel Capital invests in a broad range of companies offering hardware, software, and services targeting enterprise, home, mobility, health, consumer Internet, semiconductor manufacturing, and cleantech. Since 1991, Intel Capital has invested more than US$9.5 billion in over 1,050 companies in 47 countries. In that timeframe, 175 portfolio companies have gone public on various exchanges around the world and 241 were acquired or participated in a merger. In 2009, Intel Capital invested US$327 million in 107 investments with approximately 50 percent of funds invested outside the United States and Canada. For more information on Intel Capital and its differentiated advantages, visit www.intelcapital.com.
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