Helsinki – March 20, 2012 – Grand Cru, a start-up game developer based in Helsinki, secured $2 million in seed funding to develop cross-platform mobile adventure games. The funding largely comes from French venture capitalist firm Idinvest Partners, which manages €3 billion in equity, including several game start-ups; as well as several individual investors, such as Idle Games and Playdom co-founder, Rick Thompson. The company’s first title, The Supernauts , is a cross-platform, sandbox online game where players use superpowers to complete challenges and create their own worlds, and is set to launch later this year.
Grand Cru was founded by six Finnish game developing veterans who boast more than 70 years of industry experience between them. The new studio has deep experience in both mobile and multi-player games, whose team has worked on renowned experiences such as Habbo Hotel, Tiki Towers and the Playman Sports Series. With The Supernauts and future titles, Grand Cru is focused on creating unique experiences that work on any device or platform, including tablets, smart phones, Facebook and the Web.
“iOS and Android devices are now fast and graphically strong enough to power complex 3D games and create fully immersive experiences,” said Markus Pasula, Grand Cru’s CEO and co-founder. “Grand Cru was founded on the principle that the next generation of mobile gaming is real-time multiplayer interaction and user generated content. With the help of our new funding, we are set to be pioneers in the new frontier of mobile and social gaming.”
The Supernauts, which will be available for cross-platform play on Web, iOS and Android platforms, features a persistent sandbox virtual world with colorful and quirky cartoon-inspired artwork and visual aesthetic. Some of the game’s core features are:
· Superheroics: Players take control of their very own superhero or heroine, armed with a zapper that can build or destroy environments block by block. They will solve pre-made challenges, create their own games and puzzles, interact with each other, and construct their own virtual fortress of solitude.
· Collaborative Gameplay: Everyone in the game is capable of creating unique content. Online friends can visit and collaborate on creating unique virtual hideouts, designing puzzles and games, and completing challenges together.
· True Cross-Platform Gaming: Players will be able to jump in and experience The Supernauts on tablets, mobile phones, Web browsers and even Facebook. The persistent virtual world model allows gamers to play together and pick up exactly where they left off, regardless of platform.
“The challenge and excitement of making The Supernauts really comes from trying to guess how players will react within the open world once we launch the game,” said Harri Granholm, Grand Cru’s creative director and co-founder. “ The Supernauts’ open world sandbox environment gives an amazing amount of leeway when playing. The game is ultimately about total freedom, and we can’t wait to see what content the players come up with.”
Grand Cru started developing The Supernauts in 2011 with founding investor Lifeline Ventures. The new $2 million in seed funding is led by Guillaume Lautour from Idinvest Partners, along with Playdom co-founder Rick Thompson; Nicolas Béraud – founder of Betclic, one of the leading betting companies in Europe; former Google EMEA head of mergers and acquisitions Anil Hansjee as well as social game veteran and former head of studio at Wooga, Henric Suuronen. The Supernauts will be available later in 2012. For more information, please visit the Grand Cru and The Supernauts websites, or become a fan on Facebook.
About Grand Cru
Grand Cru was founded in 2011 by six Finnish game industry veterans with the goal of revolutionizing mobile and social gaming. The core principle behind every Grand Cru project is the belief people want to play together, and given the right tools, will create beautiful and unique experiences together. The company’s mission is to bring these tools to everybody, gamer or not, and give meaning to social gaming by letting anyone participate in the fun of making things in a virtual world.
Information about Grand Cru and job opportunities can be found on the company website
About Idinvest Partners
Idinvest Partners (based in Paris, France) is a European private equity and venture capital investor, managing more than Euro 3 billion. The firm was part of Allianz until 2010 and became independent with the backing of IDI Group. Having funded more than 100 startups in Europe since 1999 (including Criteo, Meetic, Dailymotion, Deezer, Viadeo, Talend), Idinvest Partners is also active in the online gaming space from seed to late-stage with companies like Kobojo (social), Pretty Simple (social), Plumbee (social), eRepublik Labs (online MMO), Mediastay (game monetization), Winamax (poker), Zeturf (horse betting), Curse (MMO community portal). http://www.idinvest.com/en/
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