CrowdStar & YouWeb launch $10 million StarFund

Ronny Kerr · July 15, 2011 · Short URL:

Focused exclusively on the cross-section of three explosive industries: mobile, social and gaming

Social gaming company CrowdStar and YouWeb, its former incubator, have jointly launched a $10 million venture fund dedicated to investing in social mobile game developers, according to reports in VentureBeat and TechCrunch.

We've reached out to the company for official confirmation, but have not yet heard reply.

By applying to StarFund, developers have a chance to raise up to $125,000 in initial funding to start turning their creative ideas into gaming realities. The idea is that while there are many people out there with ideas and skills to create fun, unique and (ultimately) profitable games, not everyone has the know-how that goes along with a game launch. This includes marketing, distribution and the rest.

“We want games and more of them,” said Peter Relan, CEO of CrowdStar and chairman of YouWeb. “We know we don’t have all the ideas.”

“Mobile gaming is a very young market and there is a lot of creativity out there. Developers have great ideas, but they may not have the game design and metrics expertise that we do as a publisher.”

CrowdStar also says StarFund could ultimately open the doors to new hires. Just look at Zynga--it’s obvious that any quickly growing gaming studio needs to keep hiring high-quality developers in order to keep the trains running.

Itself still something of a startup, CrowdStar just raised a $23 million round of funding from Intel Capital in May. Though the company is a long way from being as popular as Zynga, it has no problems competing with the likes of EA and other developers on platforms like Facebook and mobile.

CrowdStar and YouWeb aren’t the only ones to have launched mobile-focused funds lately. Back in April, venture capital firm DCM launched a $100 million A-Fund, designed exclusively for developers working on the Android platform. And in May, mobile gaming studio TinyCo launched TinyFund, a $5 million fund for mobile game developers working on either Android or iOS.

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