It's like that creepy scene from Being John Malkovich where everyone in the room looks like the actor and every word that comes out of anyone's mouth is "Malkovich." Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich.
Except instead of "Malkovich," everyone's saying "social gaming, social gaming, social gaming."
Playdom picked up another big one, $33 million, from new backers Bessemer Venture Partners, New World Ventures, and Steamboat Ventures. The funding is a second tranche of the Series A round that Playdom first closed late last year, when it picked up $43 million on a $260 million pre-money valuation from New Enterprise Associates, Rick Thompson, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Norwest Venture Partners.
The money should help Playdom pay for its recent acquisition spree. Since March, the company has bought Acclaim Games, Offbeat Creations, Three Melons, Merscom Games, and, as we just learned last night, Hive7. All five worked in the social gaming space. Playdom is clearly looking to not only cement its position as one of the top five social gaming developers on Facebook, but beyond Facebook's platform too.
HeyZap, another social gaming platform, raised $3 million in funding from previous backer Union Square Ventures, with participation from entrepreneur Naval Ravikant and Chris Dixon from Founder Collective. The Y Combinator-funded, San Francisco-based startup currently distributes 30,000 games across 220,000 websites, and has 4,000 developers using its platform. HeyZap's next step is to help developers port their games from Facebook to other sites.
Finally, SGN, which (of course) stands for Social Gaming Network, raised the first portion of a second round of funding: $2 million from Tomorrow Ventures (Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s investment firm) and Xing founder Lars Hinrichs. The Silicon Valley company says this Series B round will be expanded at a later time and Android titles are on the way.
Here are all the other notable technology fundraisers that happened this week:
GetJar, a cross platform mobile app store, raised an $11 million Series B round led by previous backer Accel Partners, bringing the company's total funding to $17 million. The Lithuania-based store provides about 70,000 mobile applications for all major handsets and platforms--Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Nokia, Palm, you name it--to consumers in more than 200 countries. With more than one billion apps downloaded from the store to date, GetJar is second only to Apple's App Store.
Inform Technologies, a developer and provider of semantic web solutions, received $4 million in a Series A funding round led by existing investors Spark Capital, the Stephens Group, and the Oklahoma Publishing Company. The New York-based startup works with clients like CBS Interactive, CNN, NBC, and the Economist to elegantly add content and context to the publishers' sites.
Lijit, a provider of Web site search tools, closed $6 million in funding led by existing investor Foundry Group with participation from other existing investors: Boulder Ventures and Colorado Fund I, managed by High Country Venture. The Colorado-based startup, which will use these new funds to expand its ad services platform, currently boasts a 12,000-strong publisher network with 700 million page views per month and 53 million unique visitors per month.
Nuxeo, an open source enterprise content management (ECM) platform, added $3.3 million (€2.7 million) from lead investor OTC Asset Management to December 2008 Series A funding of $2.6 million, bringing the round total to $5.9 million. With clients like Agence France Presse (AFP), the BBC, and Leroy Merlin, the Paris-based service is definitely holding its own in a sector already populated by companies like IBM, OpenText, Oracle, and Alfresco.
ReputationDefender, an online reputation management and privacy company, raised a $15 million Series C round led by JAFCO Ventures with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The Silicon Valley startup offers multiple types of subscription plans to users concerned about what the Web says about them when their name is looked up on search engines.
Online advertising network Resonate Networks secured $5 million in Series A funding, led by Greycroft Partners and iNovia Capital. The Virginia-based company uses "attitudinal targeting" (based on values, beliefs, and attitudes, not cookie-based behavioral data) to help public affairs, political, and corporate advertisers and agencies target Web users.
Sencha, a HTML5 mobile ad framework, raised a $14 million Series A funding round led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Radar Partners. The Silicon Valley company's newest product, Sencha Touch, promises clients Web apps that "look and feel like native apps" for Apple iOS and Google Android touchscreen devices.
Snaptu, provider of an advanced mobile Web experience to users of any phones, snapped up a $6 million Series B funding round led by Carmel Ventures with participation from early investor Sequoia Capital. The Israel-based company seeks to deliver all the app joys of smartphones--social networking, news, and photo suites--to the massive population of people who still use standard handsets.
Online advertising company Triggit secured a $4.2 million funding round led by Spark Capital and Foundry Group. The San Francisco-based startup's real-time bidding platform for online ads is already used by clients like Kaplan, Groupon, and others. Ad impressions from Triggit are increasing around by 200% a month (it was at one billion/day in December and has now reached 15 billion/day).
uSamp (United Sample, Inc.), provider of online panelists for market research surveys, raised a $10 million Series C round of funding led by OpenView Venture Partners. The Los Angeles-based company, which currently manages a database of 2 million active global panelists for the market research industry, will use the fresh capital for acquisitions, development of its panel management platform, and social media technology enhancements.