Mobile gaming platform Scopely raises $35M

Steven Loeb · November 13, 2014 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/3a64

Mobile gaming is predicted to become a $21 billion business in 2014

Mobile gaming is turning into big business. It's a space that some analysts predict will surpass $21 billion this year, so its no wonder that all of the sudden we're seeing an infusion of venture capital, and some very high priced acquisitions centered around it.

The latest to get funding is consumer mobile entertainment network Scopely, which has announced on Thursday that it has raised a $35 million funding round. It was led by Evolution Media Partners and Highland Capital Partners, with Knoll Ventures, Greycroft, The Chernin Group, Sands Capital Ventures and Double M Capital also participating.

The company had previously raised $8.5 million in seed financing from Anthem Venture Partners, The Chernin Group, Greycroft Venture Partners and New Enterprise Associates, in September of 2012. This latest round brings its total funding to $43.5 million.

The Los Angeles-based Scopely was founded by AdSense co-creator Eytan Elbaz, Walter Driver and Ankur Bulsara in 2011. Elbaz co-founded Applied Semantics, which was bought by Google in 2003 and became the AdSense product. Driver founded O Negative Media and co-founded Ignition Interactive. Bulsara was the lead developer on MySpace's Developer platform. 

The company helps independent mobile game developers optimize their products for competition against products from larger competitors. It works with independent studios to co-develop multi-player games that leverage its network for technology, distribution and monetization.

Its games include the "With Buddies franchise" such as Dice with Buddies, an asynchronous game similar to Yahtzee in that people roll the dice to get certain combinations and Jewels with Buddies, where the object is to match jewels. Scopely boasts a network of more than 35 million players.

In addition to the funding news, it was also announced that Rick Hess of Evolution, and Andy Hunt of Highland Capital Partners, have joined the board of directors at Scopely. The other members are Driver, who is also CEO of Scopely, and Elbaz, who is Chief Strategy Officer of the company.

Mobile gaming space

Like I said earlier, the mobile gaming space has been seeing a lot of activity this year,

For example, mobile game developer Kiwi raised $15 million in Series B funding; Gaming studio JuiceBox Games raised $2.5 million; Industrial Toys, a next-generation mobile games developer, raised a $5 million Series A round; Stealth mobile gaming company Hobo Labs raised a $4 million round; and RockYoua cross-platform advertising network for games, raised $10 million.

It's the acquisitions, though, that have made the biggest impression, with two massive deals taking place this year: in September, Microsoft bought Mojang, the gaming studio behind mega-hit Minecraft, for $2.5 billion. Then, this week, it was announced that  one of the most popular casual game publishers, Big Fish Games was purchased by Churchill Downs. 

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