Scopely is announcing that it has raised a $55 million Series B round of funding.
The Los Angeles-based company offers tools for promoting and monetizing mobile games — some of those games are developed in-house, others are created by outside studios.
“The vision is creating the most premium experiences on people’s phones across a network of developers,” co-founder and CEO Walter Driver said. “Each [developer] has a deep focus and passion and is using the Scopely platform and brand to scale those audiences and those businesses.”
The company released two hit games last year — The Walking Dead: Road to Survival and Yahtzee with Buddies, which were both ranked among the top grossing games on the Apple App Store and Google Play. Scopely says Road to Survival has been installed by more than 20 million players.
Driver added that the game’s revenues have grown “every month since launch” — something that should reassure investors worried that gaming remains a hits-driven business. (The game is free but makes money through advertising and in-app purchases.)
“‘Hits-driven business’ implies a certain unpredictability, a sort of black magic,” Driver said. “What we’ve proven is that certainly, you need to deliver a product that consumers love, and in any consumer business that requires a lot of iteration. But having those products, we can sustainably grow them over time.”
Which means that in addition to launching new games, Scopely will continue to invest in its existing titles.
It’s also worth noting that both of those games were based on existing intellectual property, developed in partnership with Hasbro (for Yahtzee) and Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman (for Road to Survival). Driver said Scopely will pursue similar partnerships in the future, as “major brand and IP holders” become increasingly aware that “smartphones are the biggest media platform in the history of the world.”
“One of the things Scopely does really well is be able to sit down with those IP- and brand-holders and talk about what that experience should be to bring it to life, to evolve it to touch the largest amount of fans with the deepest experience,” he said.
Scopely has now raised a total of $98.5 million in funding. The Series B was led by Greycroft Growth Fund (Greycroft also invested in the company’s seed and Series A rounds), with participation from Elephant Partners (the new fund from former Highland Capital partners Jeremiah Daly and Andy Hunt), Evolution Media Capital (the joint venture between the Creative Artists Agency and TPG Growth), Highland Capital, Sands Capital Ventures and Take-Two Interactive.
Greycroft’s Mark Terbeek and Scopely President and COO Javier Ferreira are joining the company’s board of directors.
by Anthony Ha