Mobile Game Start-Up Scopely Scoops Up $8.5 Million
Los Angeles-based Scopely has raised $8.5 million to develop a line of mobile games that have a familiar ring to them. Titles include Dice With Buddies and Jewels With Buddies.
But don’t get the “With Buddies” games confused with Zynga’s “With Friends” franchise, which has such well-known hits as Words With Friends and Scramble With Friends.
Scopely was founded by AdSense co-creator Eytan Elbaz, Walter Driver and Ankur Bulsara, and has been operating in stealth mode since last year, an announcement that my colleague Liz Gannes teasingly wrote about here.
The caliber of the team shows how intense the mobile games race has become, and is precisely why Zynga will have a hard time dominating the top of the charts like it did on Facebook.
Investors in Scopely’s round include Anthem Venture Partners, The Chernin Group, Greycroft Venture Partners and New Enterprise Associates (NEA). Many other well-known angels also participated, including former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel and Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow.
Check out Scopely’s Web site to see its credentials in excruciating detail, or read the full release below:
Scopely Closes $8.5 Million in Seed Funding Led By Anthem Venture Partners
LOS ANGELES, CA – September 19, 2012 – Scopely, the mobile developer/publisher founded by AdSense Co-Creator Eytan Elbaz, Walter Driver and Ankur Bulsara, today announced $8.5 million in seed financing. The round includes primary investors Anthem Venture Partners, The Chernin Group, Greycroft Venture Partners and New Enterprise Associates (NEA).
Samit Varma of Anthem Venture Partners said, “We had been tracking the Scopely team for months so we were very interested when we had the opportunity to get involved. As we dug in further, we were really compelled by their differentiated vision of the intersection between social, mobile and games. The team they’ve assembled and the traction they’ve seen to date is quite impressive.”
Other notable investors participating in the round include: former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel; ShoeDazzle and Honest Company founder Brian Lee; Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow; LiveRamp CEO/Rapleaf Chairman Auren Hoffman; Red Swan Ventures; Double M Capital Managing Partner Mark Mullen; Amplify Co-Founder/Accel Venture Partner Richard Wolpert; TechStars CEO David Cohen; TechStars NY Managing Director David Tisch; Burstly CEO Evan Rifkin, Sands Capital, Factual CEO Gil Elbaz and Aydin Senkut’s Felicis Ventures.
“We’re thrilled to be working with such a distinguished group of investors. We are big proponents of the Los Angeles startup ecosystem so it’s great to have investors like Anthem, Greycroft and The Chernin Group who are based in LA and have unique expertise in the digital media space involved,” said Walter Driver, co-founder and CEO of Scopely.
Scopely has been operating in stealth mode since last year, quietly amassing an all-star team of 30 engineers, data scientists and product managers. The company will use the additional capital to accelerate growth and expand its product offerings.
Scopely’s With Buddies franchise of multiplayer games has grown rapidly to millions of active users. Current With Buddies titles available in the AppStore include: Dice With Buddies and Jewels With Buddies.
Based in Los Angeles, California, Scopely develops and publishes mobile social applications including the With Buddies franchise of multiplayer games. Founded in 2011 by Eytan Elbaz (Applied Semantics, Google), Walter Driver (O Negative Media) and Ankur Bulsara (MySpace), the company has received $8.5 million in seed financing to date. To learn more, please visit www.scopely.com.