June 1, 2011. London. m8 Capital announced today an investment in Austin based mobile and social game publisher, Portalarium .
Following a year of investments in European based companies, this is m8 Capital’s first investment in a US based business.
Portalarium is the latest game publishing company to be launched by Richard Garriott , the legendary game developer. A 2006 inductee into the game developer Hall of Fame, Richard has been a major force in the gaming/games industry, having founded and successfully sold his two previous companies, Origin, sold to Electronic Arts in 1992 and Destination Games sold to NCsoft in 2001.
Portalarium, headquartered in Austin, Texas, was founded in 2009 with the goal of developing mobile and social games, virtual worlds and related programming and services. Its aim is to create an open ecosystem of mobile and social gamers, fully integrated into existing social networks and gaming communities while fully enabled by latest developments in mobile devices and platforms.
Following the investment, the company will launch its first major title release, a brand new and unique social media game, in the coming months.
“We are delighted to join Richard Garriott and the Portalarium team in creating the next great gaming company. Richard is one of the giants of the industry. He's a proven entrepreneur and has been a driving force at each of the industry’s major turning points," said Joseph Kim, General Partner of m8 Capital, the London-based mobile-focused venture fund.
"Following a year of successful European investments, it’s a significant milestone for m8 Capital to make our first investment in the States,” he continued.
“With m8 Capital and Founders Fund, we have the investment resources in place with two very key partners who are prepared to help us grow and scale our company to meet the opportunities found currently in social media and mobile platforms,” said Portalarium CEO Fred Schmidt.“m8 Capital also provides an important international role as we shape our strategy for the European market while Founders Fund has been invaluable in keeping us solidly connected to the social media scene that has coalesced in the Bay Area.
“Founders Fund is extremely pleased to continue its support for Portalarium,” said Founders Fund’s Brian Singerman.“Starting new companies and transforming them into extraordinary successes is nothing new to Richard Garriott and his team and we expect Portalarium will continue their exceptional 30 year track record.”
Richard developed one of the industry’s most important and enduring franchises, the Ultima Series. He has played a key role in some of the industry’s noteworthy innovations, including online games and massively multiplayer online role-playing game or MMORPGs. His Ultima Online game, launched in 1997 is the first commercially successful MMORPG and is still going strong today as a service of Electronic Arts.
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Notes to Editors
About m8 Capital
m8 Capital invests exclusively in mobile technology. Mobile technology is changing everything we do. Mobile technology is enabling services, products and information to be more pervasive, more relevant, and more convenient. m8 Capital looks to support entrepreneurs and their companies that are positioning themselves to be at the forefront of all things mobile. Previous investments include mobile train ticketing technology Masabi and German engineering automation firm SCHAD.
Portalarium is revolutionizing role-playing games for social media. Formed in September of 2009 in Austin, Texas, Portalarium is developing and publishing premium online games and virtual worlds for popular social networks and mobile platforms. Portalarium games maximize the fun and social play experience between friends, making it is easy to find each other and play together regardless of where you are or what you are playing. For more information visit www.portalarium.com.
About Founders Fund
Founders Fund provides capital to extraordinary businesses run by world-class entrepreneurs. Companies the firm has backed include Facebook (managing partner Peter Thiel was Facebook's first outside backer), Quantcast, SpaceX, Palantir Technologies, RoboteX, Spotify, Yammer, Mint.com, and Slide. The firm, which pursues a founder-friendly investment strategy, is overseen by a team of entrepreneurs and engineers.
For more information visit www.foundersfund.com.
Tel: +44 7801 109654