The leading mobile social game producer on Google's smartphone Android operating system has nabbed $18 Million in Series B funding from Chinese Venture Capital firm Keytone and global VC firm DCM.
Since launching in June of 2010, Papaya has seen a 375% growth rate, so this latest round of funding does not come as a surprise. Papaya provides a diverse suite of free mobile games for Android smartphones, including Whacksy Taxi, Papaya Fish (once again: Mmmmm), Papaya Farm, and about 50 others. And 15 million users is nothing to sneeze at, either.
The funding is geared toward what will be a "staggering" projected growth of Android users in China, where Papaya calls home in Beijing (though they have an office here in San Francisco as well), and will go to expanding the developer network in Europe and North America. And of course, more games. Which means more fun.
SAN FRANCISCO - PapayaMobile (http://papayamobile.com), the leading social gaming network on Android, has secured $18 million in a round of Series B funding. The round was led by Keytone Ventures, a leading venture capital firm in China with a heavy investment focus on the mobile Internet industry (Analogix Semiconductor, Borqs), and DCM, a global venture capital firm with a strong investment focus on social networks and gaming (RenRen, Trion, RockYou, PlayFirst). PapayaMobile's latest funding will help expand the growing PapayaMobile developer ecosystem in both the U.S. and Europe, while strengthening the portfolio of PapayaMobile products. PapayaMobile hosts mobile games on its social network comprised of over 15 million users and offers mobile developers the tools to build high quality social gaming experiences with access to the most comprehensive social graph for gaming on Android & iOS.
"Since launching our Papaya gaming platform last year, we have had over 350 applications integrated into our network, all of which have benefited from the viral capabilities of our social graph," said Si Shen, CEO and Co-Founder of PapayaMobile. "As our momentum on Android continues to grow, our latest funding from Keytone Ventures, an expert in the Chinese mobile market, and DCM, a pioneer in the gaming and social network investment space, will help us continue to expand our social network across the globe."
"Android growth in China over the next two years will be staggering," said Joe Zhou, Founder and Managing Partner of Keytone Ventures. "Couple this growth with the monetization potential of mobile games in China and we believe PapayaMobile is well positioned to be the leader in social gaming platforms for the largest mobile market in the world."
"Since our initial investment in PapayaMobile in 2010, we have seen the Papaya gaming network grow into a thriving, highly engaged, monetizable community on Android," said Hurst Lin, General Partner at DCM. "DCM is a global venture capital firm with 2 billion dollars under management. We are committed to continuously investing in the Android ecosystem and PapayaMobile as a leading platform in this system."
PapayaMobile has experienced over 375% growth in its user base since opening its social gaming network in June of 2010. Growth has primarily been driven through games that have integrated either PapayaMobile's Social SDK or Papaya Game Engine. With offices in Beijing, San Francisco, and London, PapayaMobile expects growth to accelerate even further throughout 2011 as Android continues to gain momentum in western markets and China.
Founded in 2008 by CEO Si Shen and CTO Qian Wenjie, PapayaMobile provides both tools for game developers and content for players on its growing social mobile network of over 15 million users worldwide. With headquarters in Beijing and offices in San Francisco and London, PapayaMobile offers developers a fast and easy way to reach millions of users across the globe and improve their return on investment for Android game development. Players can participate in high quality social mobile gaming experiences with rich community interaction across Papaya's rapidly growing network of hosted games. http://papayamobile.com/
About Keytone Ventures
Keytone Ventures is a venture fund founded by three successful venture capitalists Joe Zhou, Stella Jin and Peng Jin in early 2008. Keytone Ventures currently manages over $400 million capital. The three partners were former Founding Managing Partner at KPCB China and Partner at IDGVC. In the past 10 years, Keytone team members led some of the most successful exit track records in China, including Shanda ("SNDA"), Acorn ("ATV"), Global Education ("GEDU") and 3721. Many of our portfolio companies present unique technology opportunities and innovative business models, and have strived to become dominant industry leaders in China, such as IZP, Travelzen, China Special Article Logistic, Lattice Power and Borqs.
Keytone targets early-stage and early-growth-stage companies and primarily identifies investment opportunities in technology, clean technology, consumer services, media and advertising. Keytone is committed to building industry-leading companies and partnering with world-class entrepreneurs.
DCM is an early stage venture capital firm that has been helping entrepreneurs build world-class technology companies since 1996. The firm's partners manage six funds totaling US$2 billion, and have made investments in more than 140 technology companies across the United States and Asia. With offices in Silicon Valley, Beijing and Tokyo, DCM provides hands-on operational guidance and a vast network of business and financial resources to its portfolio companies globally. DCM's portfolio-company investments have resulted in a large number of successful exits including 21 IPOs on eight major exchanges, and 15 acquisitions since inception. Recent successes include three new China-based IPOs: BitAuto Holdings (NYSE: BITA, Nov 2010), E-Commerce China DangDang Inc. (NYSE: DANG), and Shanghai Luxin (SZSE: 002565) in addition to Neutral Tandem, a startup funded by DCM in 2004 that traded at a market cap of over $1B on the NASDAQ in 2009, and VanceInfo, recently ranked the number one performing stock by Investor's Business Daily.
DCM's notable gaming and entertainment companies include: Outspark (casual online game publisher), Pandora.TV (Korea's leading Internet video site), PlayFirst (casual online game publisher), RockYou (provider of applications and widgets on the web), Tonchidot (Japan's leading augmented reality application), and Trion Worlds, Inc. (publisher and developer of games and original entertainment).