It's no surprise that mobile games are hot investment vehicles for venture capitalists. A recent Canalys report found that 50 percent of U.S. app revenue is generated by just 25 developers, and 24 of those developers are gaming companies. But making money from mobile gaming still remains elusive for many, and that's why VC firms are looking closely at startups that offer solutions to help game developers monetize their apps.
According to Rutberg & Co.'s report on venture capital financing in November, 90 mobile companies received $518 million in VC financing. Of those, consumer app developers received approximately $220 million in financing and application infrastructure firms received about $90 million in VC funds. These figures are approximate because some companies announced venture investments but did not disclose dollar amounts.
Streaming music app Spotify was a big winner in November, attracting $100 million in financing, while mobile analytics and advertising platform Flurry scored $25 million in VC funds. Rutberg noted that Flurry is expected to file for an initial public offering early this year.
Financial investors included Atlantic Bridge, Charles River Ventures, Crosslink Capital, CrunchFund, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Matrix Partners and Mayfield Fund. Strategic investors included 3M New Ventures, Intel Capital, KDDI, Motorola Solutions, Mozilla, Qualcomm Ventures and SingTel Innov8.
Here is a breakdown of the mobile application infrastructure firms that received early stage financing in November. We've listed them in order from most funding to least funding.
♦ $25 million: Flurry helps companies build, measure, advertise and monetize mobile applications with its mobile app measurement and advertising platform.
♦ $15 million: Trademob makes a mobile app marketing platform that offers clients a way to promote their mobile apps globally while optimizing mobile marketing goals and budgets.
♦ $10 million: Medialets makes an advertising platform for mobile, tablets and connected devices.
♦ $8 million: Playhaven makes a platform that helps mobile game makers better manage their customers relationships and monetize their apps. Playhaven customers include Glu Mobile (NASDAQ:GLUU), Digital Chocolate, Namco and others.
♦ $7 million: Mojiva is a mobile ad network that reaches more than 1.1 billion devices globally and represents 8,000 mobile and tablet publishers and apps.
♦ $6 million: Swrve offers a real-time personalization platform that allows developers to continually test content and messages so they can fine-tune their games and maximize engagement.
♦ $2 million: Corona Labs offers a development platform that helps developers create any type of app---including games, eBooks, business apps and other mobile experiences.
♦ $2 million: biNu makes a mobile app platform that brings iPhone-like experiences to low-end smartphones and feature phones.
♦ $1 million: Teleportd uses crowdsourcing to provide users with access to relevant photos.
♦ $1 million: Lookout Gaming is a stealth-mode mobile gaming company that promises to make gaming "meaningful."
♦ $1 million: Gogamingo gives gamers the ability to use their casual gaming scores to compete in online tournaments for prizes.