TheGamingEconomy’s Daily Digest brings you the prevalent business stories in gaming. In today’s news: Scopely raises USD$200m (£173.1m) for M&A; The Sandbox secures USD$2.01m (£1.74m); Robin Games secures USD$7m (£6.05m) seed funding; and Mainframe Industries raises €7.6m (£7.1m).
Scopely raises USD$200m (£173.1m) for M&A
Los Angeles-based mobile publisher Scopely has secured USD$200m (£173.1m) in Series D funding, with investment primarily coming from media group Advance and consumer investment firm The Chernin Group. The latest haul, which takes Scopely's total funding to USD$658.7m (£570.1m), will be used primarily to support the firm's M&A strategy. Scopely's most recent activity in acquisitions was the purchase of FoxNext Games Los Angeles and Cold Iron Studios from Disney, for a sum thought to be in the region of USD$250m (£191m), though executives have confirmed that Cold Iron Studios is due to be sold on due to its specialism in console and PC titles. Following the latest tranche of funding, Scopely's post-money valuation stands at USD$1.9bn (£1.6bn).
In a statement explaining their contribution to the round, Jesse Jacobs, co-founder and partner of The Chernin Group, said, "As the traditional media industry continues to go through unprecedented change, we believe that Scopely has all the ingredients for tremendous success — exposure to games (the fastest-growing sector in media), a scalable and durable technology platform, a diversified set of well-known IP, an attractive economic profile, and a team hyper-focused on execution and long-term success."
The Sandbox secures USD$2.01m (£1.74m)
Animoca Brands has announced that its subsidiary studio TSB Gaming has raised a total of USD$2.01m (£1.74m) in cash and cryptocurrency to support its blockchain-based content and gaming platform The Sandbox. The investment was raised between July and September last year, with an update delayed until now through consultation with ASX, with investors including Square Enix, B Cryptos, Minfulness Venture Fund, and True Global Ventures (TGV).
Commenting on their support for the title, B Cryptos CEO Hiro Motoyoshi wrote, "The Sandbox universe that Animoca Brands is creating is in line with how we see entertainment and new technologies coming together to create a new entertainment experience and expand the role and impact of entertainment in future society. In a narrower sense, we see The Sandbox as one of the catalysts that will shed new light on the underlying technologies (including blockchain) that make such innovative experiences possible. We look forward to supporting The Sandbox on its journey and have high expectations for where that journey leads."
Robin Games secures USD$7.0m (£6.0m) in seed funding
Robin Games, a mobile developer specialising in "lifestyle gaming" has secured USD$7m (£6.05m) in seed funding to assist its creation of modern concept fantasy titles. The round was led by London Venture Partners (LVP), with supporting contributions from investors including 1Up Ventures, Alpha Edison, Everblue Management, Firstminute Capital, GC Tracker Fund, Hearst Ventures, and Third Kind Venture Capital. Robin Games operates out of Venice, California, and is led by former Jam City executive Jill Wilson.
Commenting on their lead contribution, LVP partner and new Robin Games board member Are Mack Growen stated, "This team has developed and operated some of the world’s most successful games for a decade, and now they have assembled to bring premium experiences to the massively underserved audience of women. In addition to their industry expertise, they fundamentally understand their audience and the ingredients for powerful entertainment. We are proud to have led their seed round and look forward to helping them redefine what it means to be a gamer."
Mainframe Industries raises €7.6m (£7.1m)
In the final fund-raise story of the day, pan-Nordic cloud gaming developer Mainframe Industries has raised €7.6m (£7.1m) in a Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with supporting contributions from Riot Games and previous investors Maki.vc, Play Ventures, Sisu Game Ventures, and Crowberry Capital. The round marks the first time that Andreessen Horowitz and Riot have invested in a Nordic developer, with the funding due to be used to support recruitment across Mainframe Industries' Helsinki and Reykjavik studios. Full details on the firm's debut title have yet to be announced, though it will be a cloud-native MMO title constructed using Epic Games' Unreal Engine.
In a press release covering the funding, Andreessen Horowitz general partner Andrew Chen wrote, "We believe that cloud-native games are poised to revolutionise the entertainment industry in the coming years, yielding entirely new gameplay experiences and business models.”