An inside look from VentureWire at high-tech start-ups and their investors.
The Daily Startup: VCs Buy In to Mobile Game Maker Supercell
Top stories in today’s VentureWire:
Eager to own a slice of the wildly profitable Finnish mobile game maker Supercell, venture investors have purchased existing shares totaling $130 million at a $770 million valuation. Index Ventures led the deal with participation from Institutional Venture Partners and Atomico. Founded in 2011, SuperCell is currently the highest-grossing iOS game developer with “Clash of Clans” and “Hay Day” now bringing in $2.5 million of revenue daily.
Enlighted raised $20 million in Series C funding led by Rockport Capital for its lighting-controls technology, as it operates in a quickly changing market where the price for lighting emitting diodes is declining. The company makes sensors and software that is installed in commercial spaces and that helps decide when to dim lights. A newer application of the technology would also allow the sensors to measure temperature and occupancy, and control not just lighting but also air conditioning.
Also in today’s VentureWire, Reduxio Systems has raised a $9 million Series A round led by Jerusalem Venture Partners and Carmel Ventures. Reduxio is developing storage systems that make use of both flash memory and hard drives…Smart-home startup Zonoff has secured a $3.8 million Series A round for software that makes all kinds of smart-home devices work smoothly together and makes them easier to set up and control…and Crowdtilt has raised $12 million in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz to bring a new twist to crowdfunding. Crowdtilt’s apps give groups an easy way to fund their own initiatives, rather than asking for money from strangers online.
(VentureWire is a daily newsletter with comprehensive analysis of all the investments, deals and personnel moves involving startups and their venture backers. For a two-week trial, visit our homepage, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)
Elsewhere around the Web:
Launching mobile game apps is getting expensive. Case in point: ZeptoLab says it will spend about $1 million to launch “Cut the Rope: Time Travel” but it spent almost nothing to promote the first “Cut the Rope” game’s release in 2010, The Wall Street Journal reports. What has changed is the mobile games business, which is now so competitive that word-of-mouth marketing is no longer enough.
Jon Flint, a founder of venture firm Polaris Partners, got into the hair-care business after his stylist suggested that he take a meeting with a colleague in New York who wanted to start a company. Flint and his partners turned to MIT”s Robert Langer to come up with innovative products. Flint talks with WSJ about the company that resulted, Living Proof, which is co-owned by actress Jennifer Aniston.
Silicon Valley startups are increasingly hiring testing companies to vet apps before releasing them to the public, WSJ reports.