wooga, Europe’s largest developer of online social games, announced today a $24 million Series B investment led by Highland Capital Partners. Tenaya Capital and the existing investors Holtzbrinck Ventures and Balderton Capital also participated in this funding round.
wooga, which stands for ‘world of gaming’, produces engaging games for Facebook users to play with their friends. The Berlin-based team has created some of the world’s most popular social games, including Bubble Island, Diamond Dash and Monster World. wooga has already doubled its user-base in 2011 from 14 million to over 30 million monthly active users, as well as overtaken five US-based competitors to become number three on the Facebook platform.
Founded in 2009, wooga launched its first free-to-play brain training game, Brain Buddies, when the team was just five people strong. Today, the company employs a truly international team of 85 people from 20 countries in Berlin. Right now, wooga is hiring on average two new employees every week.
In relation to the new investment and wooga’s future, Jens Begemann, founder and CEO, said: “When we started the company everyone told us the competition was too intense, we would never make it, and now – two years later – we have three games in the top 20, making us the only developer besides Zynga which has more than two games in the top 20. The phenomenal growth that we have achieved is a credit to the creativity and ingenuity of our team. wooga’s success is based on having the best people, and we will use this funding to hire the most talented artists, game designers and engineers. We intend to build the team to 150 employees by the end of 2011”.
Begemann, added: “We have a ten-year vision to build one of the largest gaming companies in the world by 2020. For 40 years, computer games have been aimed primarily at young males – roughly 10% of the population. But we believe that playing is a core human need, and therefore we design games for 100% of the population. Our games attract more viewers than some of the biggest TV shows. Millions of users spend on average 20 minutes a day playing our games, returning several times daily. Social gaming is about to transform the entertainment industry and this funding gives us the means to lead that change”.
In conjunction with the financing, Fergal Mullen, General Partner at Highland, will join wooga’s Board of Directors. The fresh capital will be used for the development of some new entertaining social games.
Find this interesting? Find out more about wooga and founder Jens Begemann in the interview we did with Jens six months ago.
Congratulations to wooga – way to go!
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