Social gaming start-up Funzio has secured $20 million in funding, with the company planning to use the funds to triple its team and scale its business for an improved offering.
Based in San Francisco, Funzio was founded in 2010 by a group of gaming industry professionals – including Kenneth Chiu, Rick Thomson, Anil Dharni, Ram Gudavalli and Andrew Keidel – and now has more than 30 employees.
Funzio developed the social game Crime City, which quickly became one of the top five Facebook games of the year. The company plans to continue to create free-to-play games for Facebook and mobile.
Funzio recently secured $20 million in a financing round led by US-based IDG Ventures and China-based IDG Capital Partners. IDG Ventures managing director Phil Sanderson will join the company board.
IDG Ventures is a global network of venture capital funds with approximately $4 billion under management and a portfolio of over 250 companies.
The IDG Ventures network is comprised of five independent partnerships managing funds in North America and Asia, including IDG Ventures in the US and IDG Capital Partners in China.
Each partnership makes investments on behalf of its limited partners, including IT media company International Data Group.
By combining the IDG platform with hands-on experience in early-stage company building, each IDG Ventures fund helps companies understand their markets better and penetrate them faster than their competition.
Building on the success of Crime City, Funzio says it plans to use the funding to triple its team this year and scale its business so that it can launch games faster and develop them in parallel.
Funzio co-founder and chief executive Kenneth Chiu says the company is passionate about building “phenomenal” games that users enjoy playing.
“We have developed social games on Facebook and mobile before with companies like Zynga and Storm8,” Chiu says.
“This time, we are going cross-platform with a vision of bringing the best games on the planet that players can play anywhere and anytime.”
“We feel very fortunate to have Phil Sanderson join our board because he shares our values and vision – creating awesome cross-platform games for Facebook, iOS and Android.”
According to Sanderson, the Funzio team is unique in the sense that it has been in the social gaming space since its inception and has created some of the most popular games to date for Facebook and the iPhone.
“Now they’re transforming the industry by taking a cross-platform approach with AAA quality social games so people can play on Facebook and mobile – two of the biggest markets,” he says.