Growth

Bubble Gum bucks gaming industry gloom with $2.5 million funding round

Michelle Hammond /

Sydney-based games studio Bubble Gum Interactive has bucked the trend of local gaming companies going under, after raising $2.5 million in a second round of funding.

Bubble Gum Interactive is an independent virtual worlds and games studio, founded by chief executive Phil Mason and chief marketing officer Paul Gray.

Its first game, Little Space Heroes, enables players to create their own hero and explore a galaxy.

The company announced today it raised $2.5 million in just eight weeks to fund further development and sales of Little Space Heroes.

The funds will be used to scale operations, including bringing on board new key talent, cementing global distribution programs and expanding the company’s marketing efforts.

A percentage will also be used to help accelerate the development of new products and services, including games for mobile devices, cartoons and global licensing program development.

The new funding round saw key investors from Bubble Gum’s previous raise continuing their investments, with new money from a mix of angel and VCs from Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States.

This includes the Sydney Angels Sidecar Fund, Melbourne-based Starfish Ventures and Tokyo based IT-Farm Corporation.

Sizhao Yang, co-creator of Farmville, and Silicon Valley investor Bill Tai also invested in Bubble Gum.

According to Mason, Little Space Heroes is experiencing incredible growth, with “tens of thousands” of kids playing the game every day in more than 80 countries.

“Closing our second round so quickly was a dream run, with plenty of capital to invest in rapidly establishing Little Space Heroes as the number one virtual universe for kids,” Mason says.

“In addition to the capital, we’re very pleased to have brought on board investors with significant experience in gaming, entertainment and technology sectors.”

Nick Peace, investment director at Starfish Ventures, which has invested in the likes of BugHerd, StyleTread and Scalify, says Starfish recognised a “great opportunity” at Bubble Gum Interactive with regard to the kids’ gaming space.

“We were very impressed at their technological innovation around security and safety, so we’re not surprised they’re the most highly accredited game on offer for kids,” Pearce says.

Meanwhile, Tai said in a statement he is “very excited to add fuel to the rocket that is Little Space Heroes”.

“This is a team that has done it before, and I’ve been very impressed with their product execution and user traction,” Tai said.

“Their organic user growth has been phenomenal, and this financing should help Bubble Gum step on the accelerator.”

This article first appeared on StartupSmart.

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