PALO ALTO, Calif. - April 30, 2009 - Booyah, a Silicon Valley start-up founded by former games industry veterans Keith Lee, Brian Morrisroe and Sam Christiansen, announced that the Company has raised a $4.5M Series A financing from Kleiner Perkins Caufield&Byers (KPCB) as part of the firm’s highly sought-after iFund. After successful careers at Blizzard Entertainment, Activision and Insomniac Games, the founding trio has been working quietly on an innovative and compelling entertainment product, which will be revealed this spring.
“We were immediately compelled by the promise of Booyah and the background of the founders,” said Matt Murphy, partner, KPCB.“The iFund was created to help build the most promising and innovative businesses that utilize the discrete capabilities of the iPhone and iPod touch. Booyah is a terrific example.”
Booyah is creating a playful life companion that combines the immersive experiences that draw consumers to massively multi-player online games, the interconnectedness of social media, and the power of the iPhone and iPod touch.
“Imagine that you could play life by pursuing and sharing your passions,” Keith Lee, CEO and co-founder, Booyah, said.“Booyah motivates you and others through a mobile companion, everywhere you go. You become a part of an ever-expanding social experiment, inspiring you to challenge yourself and be better at your life. We are incredibly excited to have Kleiner Perkins Caufield&Byers and the iFund supporting us and guiding us in our vision.”
Booyah has also assembled a decorated advisory board, whose members include Rob Pardo, executive vice president, game design, Blizzard Entertainment and Min Kim, vice president, marketing, Nexon. Booyah will unveil its product this spring. To follow Booyah, please visit www.booyah.com.
About the Founders:
Keith Lee, CEO and founder, is a veteran of the interactive entertainment industry with a proven track record of helping create best-selling video games, developing compelling experiences, and attracting broad audiences into the games space. Prior to founding Booyah, Keith was the lead producer for Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo III franchise, which has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Before Blizzard, he served as the project manager and lead programmer for the Ratchet&Clank series with Insomniac Games. Before his career in the games industry, he worked at several investment banks, including Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.
Brian Morrisroe is chief creative officer and founder. He has 11 years of professional experience in the gaming industry, including six years at Blizzard Entertainment where, in his roles as art lead for World of Warcraft and art director for Diablo III, he helped establish the visual style and future art direction of both franchises. Over his games career, Brian helped ship more than 15 million units worldwide including blockbuster titles such as Legacy of Kain, Soul Reaver 2, Spider-Man The Movie, World of Warcraft, and the follow-up expansion World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.
Sam Christiansen serves as Booyah’s chief technology officer and is the third founder. He has more than eight years of experience in the games industry working across all PC and console platforms. Prior to Booyah, he worked at Blizzard Entertainment as a senior programmer for Diablo III. Prior to that, Sam touched and impacted every aspect of development at Insomniac Games from tools, gameplay, and networking to the proprietary game engine. Previously, he led the Xbox development team at Paradigm Entertainment. Sam also worked at Trilogy Software creating a set of rich user interface widgets for web browsers using Java script and web-based content management system using Java and JSP.
Booyah, headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., is an entertainment company dedicated to building a playful digital life companion. Founders Keith Lee, Brian Morrisroe and Sam Christiansen are former games industry veterans from highly respected studios, including Blizzard Entertainment, Activision and Insomniac Games. The former game-makers draw on their expertise on engaging players with interactive entertainment to create compelling new experiences for a mass audience. The Company is financed by Kleiner Perkins Caufield&Byers’ iFund.
About Kleiner Perkins Caufield&Byers
Kleiner Perkins Caufield&Byers is passionately committed to helping portfolio companies succeed. Entrepreneurs gain access to KPCB’s matched portfolio of companies and associations with global business leaders. These relationships are the foundation for strategic alliances, partnership opportunities and the sharing of insights to help build new ventures faster, broader and with less risk.
Contact: Craig Sinel/Sibel Sunar