IDG invests in mobile gaming company Playsimple through seed program
IDG Ventures India has invested in PlaySimple, a mobile social gaming company through its seed fund programs. The company is focused on mobile games in the trivia, word and puzzle categories, co-funder Siddharth Jain said.
Siddharth and his co-founders were earlier working for Zynga and were closely involved in games such as Mafia Wars and Bubble Safari and have worked on innovations around gameplay, engagement and analytics.
Yezdi Lashkari, a former executive, at Zynga, also participated as an angel investor as part of the round. Neither company disclosed the amount invested.
The money will be used to build a portfolio of mobile casual games targeting the global markets. Playsimple also plans to increase its team from six to 20 and is looking to hire game designers and UI experts, said Siddharth.
“We are targeting global markets, primarily the English speaking countries,” he added.
Besides Siddharth, the founding team comprises of Preeti Reddy, Suraj Nalin and Siddhanth Jain, who worked together at Zynga. The team has also previously worked at companies such as Bain, Walmart Labs & Yahoo.
“Globally, mobile gaming is a very large, growing market. Gaming is a hits business, but the ones that succeed do take off rapidly towards profitable growth in a short period of time,” Karthik Prabhakar of IDG Ventures India said.
“The team at PlaySimple is young and highly experienced in building/scaling mobile games for the global markets,” he added
PlaySimple has already released a game title, GuessUp. With this funding, the company is targeting to release multiple games over the next few months in early 2015 before they look to raise their next round of capital.
IDG launched its seed program earlier this year to discover interesting investment opportunities at a very early stage. It has already invested in recruitment startup Mynoticeperiod.com and mobile ad retargeting firm SilverEdge through the program.
IDG’s USA fund has invested in 8-9 gaming firms, the most prominent of which was Funzio, which was acquired by Japanese gaming giant GREE in 2012.
Its China fund also has about six gaming and animation investments listed on the website. PlaySimple is IDG’s first mobile investment in India.
Several gaming companies have also raised money in recent months. In November, MadRat Games, a Bangalore based offline gaming company, raised $1 million from Flipkart founders Sachin and Binny Bansal.
A more high profile investment was in Octro, the mobile gaming company behind popular Indian games like Teen Patti and Rummy, which raised a Series A round funding of $15 million from Sequoia Capital in June.
Investors in India are increasingly interested in gaming companies as those with a portfolio of highly engaging games also have the potential to develop gamification applications. The gamification market is growing steadily and is expected to reach $5.5 billion by 2018.
In 2014, the global games market is expected to have reached $81.4bn, up 7.8% from 2013, according to global games research firm Newzoo. Mobile gaming may have risen to $21.7bn in 2014, generating 27% of global revenues. Indian gaming firms can expect to get a good chunk of that pie, given their early focus on international markets.