TinyCo launches $5 million TinyFund for devs

Ronny Kerr · May 25, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1ad0

Mobile gaming developers to receive $500K chunks per iOS or Android title

Mobile gaming studio TinyCo announced Wednesday the launch of TinyFund, a $5 million gaming fund to provide other mobile game developers with capital and assistance in marketing and distribution.

With over 600,000 iOS and Android apps combined out in the wild, TinyCo believes it imperative that the best developers receive a little boost so that they can rise to the top.

"Competition on iOS and Android has quickly heated-up. Long gone are the days where a great game is all it takes to get downloads,” said Suli Ali, co-founder and CEO of TinyCo. “Now, in order to make a splash, developers not only have to have enough marketing spend, but also the business know-how. We've been able to accumulate both and want to help other promising developers bring hits to market.”

Eligible candidates are to receive up to $500,000 per gaming title, along with marketing, development and business support. In addition, TinyCo will help drive traffic to candidates’ games by marketing through its own games. The startup has launched five games in the last year--Tiny Zoo, Tiny Nightclub, Tiny Chef, Tap Resort Party and VIP Poker--and all have charted on the App Store’s top grossing games and top free games. In total, the TinyCo titles have accumulated over 20 million downloads.

Back in February, TinyCo itself raised an $18 million Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Ron Conway, Keith Rabois, and several other angels. At the time, I got a chance to speak with TinyCo co-founder Ian Spivey, who offered some insight into how mobile gaming will evolve, based on lessons from social gaming:

“What happened on Facebook early on was that [developers] were finding what worked, iterating really rapidly and acquiring users as quickly as they could. Games today are more complicated, deeper and have a higher production value.

“[Mobile] is how Facebook felt two years ago, with a few players having success but no clear market leader. Over the next 12 months, the ad market will get extremely competitive and companies will get more aggressive in designing games.”

These days, the clear winner on Facebook is Zynga, which is reportedly amping up for an initial public offering in June. An IPO from the hottest social gaming company would be bigger even than LinkedIn’s debut on the NYSE, which actually wasn’t too shabby.

If Spivey’s insights are correct, then we’ll be seeing a similarly exciting IPO from some large mobile gaming company over the next couple years. And maybe it will be a developer that starts off on the TinyFund.

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