San Francisco, Calif.– July 14, 2009– Outspark, a leading virtual playground combining Freemium games with personalized social experiences, today announced it has closed an $8.3 million Series C financing round. New investor Syncom Venture Partners led the financing with participation from SBI Investment and Mille Plateaux. Previous investors in the company include DCM, Tencent and Altos Ventures.
The funding will help accelerate the company’s continued global expansion through both internal growth initiatives and strategic investments and acquisitions. Concurrent with the funding, Stan Smith, Principal at Syncom Venture Partners, will join Outspark’s board of directors.
“Outspark’s virtual playground represents a fresh approach to interactive entertainment,” said Stan Smith of Syncom.“The company has successfully married compelling multi-genre online game play with community and personalization to offer users an entirely new and exciting online entertainment experience. Moreover, Outspark’s world class team and innovative business model which unites publisher, portal and platform capabilities ensure that the company will continue to be a leader in the evolution of next-generation interactive entertainment services. We are impressed with Outspark’s accomplishments to date and are excited about joining a tremendous team of visionary operators and investors to exploit the tremendous global opportunity.”
Founded in January 2007, Outspark has enjoyed rapid success with a unique business model that has created a flourishing online community around the idea of engaging social events, in-game and around-game networking, user-generated content, and a personalized user experience. Since the company launched service 1.5 years ago, traffic to Outspark has grown to 5.4 million unique visitors a month. Outspark currently offers five mid-casual“massively multiplayer online” (MMO) games with more games launching through 2009. With a registered user base of more than 4.7 million globally, Outspark boasts the largest free-to-play MMO North American audience after Nexon, and a rapidly growing European community.
Outspark offers a compelling portfolio of games that, along with highly effective marketing employing proprietary data analytic technology, efficiently attracts a highly desirable audience and also encourages them to spend money. As a result, the company’s Freemium model features one of the highest monetizations per paying user, with approximately $50 Average Revenue Per Paying User (ARPU) monthly.
In less than two years, Outspark has signed deals with leading Internet service, distribution and game developer partners, including BestBuy, Yahoo! Games, YouTube, Xfire and Meebo among many others.
Outspark recently opened its online platform on which game developers or publishers can plug into, to self publish their online games, while leveraging the infrastructure, business intelligence data, existing users, portal and social network community features.
“Our pioneering game publishing platform and portal combines social networking features, retailing tools for online content and best-in-class marketing across gamers to address the need for rich game entertainment,” stated Susan Choe, CEO and founder of Outspark.“In addition, the easily accessible publishing platform and services we’ve created for mid-session MMOG players and developers has resulted in leading game designers across the U.S., Europe and Asia signing up to publish with Outspark. As we continue to grow our network of partners we look forward to adding more developers around the world as well as media companies who want to jump start their mid-session games business.”
Outspark’s continued growth, strong revenues and demonstrated ability to attract financing have positioned the company as one of the top players in the online media segment. Part of its strength also resides in its culturally and geographically diverse team of outstanding talent.
To sign up for a free Outspark player account or learn more about Outspark please visit www.outspark.com.
Outspark is a leading micro-transaction based online game company that publishes and operates engaging online multiplayer games. Since the company’s formation in January 2007, the online community has grown to more than 4.7 million users. Featuring a portfolio of immersive free-to-play games and related content, the company is building an online destination where members come for the games and stay for the community. Titles include Fiesta, Secret of the Solstice, Bread‘n Butter, Project Powder, Blackshot and Wind Slayer. Backed by a stellar group of investors including Syncom Venture Partners, SBI Investment, DCM, Tencent, Altos Ventures and Mille Plateaux , Outspark is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif., with a subsidiary office in Seoul, Korea. For more information, visit http://www.outspark.com.
About Syncom Venture Partners:
Founded in 1977 and headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, Syncom Venture Partners is a leading media and communications venture capital firm supporting visionary and talented entrepreneurs committed to creating innovative, high growth businesses of enduring value. Syncom manages approximately $400 million of private equity capital on behalf of some of the nation’s largest corporations and public pension funds. For more information, please visit www.syncom.com.
About SBI Investment Co., Ltd.:
SBI Investment is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SBI Holdings, Inc. (TOKYO: 8473), which is one of the largest, most active venture capital firm in Japan. Since its establishment in 1996, the company has focused its investments on 21st century growth sectors such as information technology, biotechnology and life science. The company offers comprehensive support for venture companies through its venture capital funds, providing them with risk capital, tax and financial administration support, public offering related consultation services, and capable managers. SBI Investment currently manages various venture capital funds with the total fund size of over $1 billion.
Outspark Media Contacts:
(209) 586-1495 x104
(209) 586-1495 x106