CrowdStar joins with YouWeb for $10M mobile social gaming fund

Social gaming publisher CrowdStar and consumer tech incubator YouWeb are teaming to introduce StarFund, a $10 million fund to drive innovation in the mobile social gaming segment. Developers can apply through CrowdStar to land as much as $250,000 in funding--founder Suren Markosian and YouWeb investment gurus will select the winning recipients, and if the finished product meets expectations, CrowdStar also will supply marketing and analytics resources. Click here for additional details.

The CrowdStar community now counts roughly 25 million monthly active gamers. Titles include Happy Aquarium, Happy Island, It Girl and Zoo Paradise. CrowdStar's first mobile-only release, Top Girl for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS, racked up a million downloads in its first 10 days in the App Store. The firm is an alumnus of the YouWeb incubator, along with startups like OpenFeint, Sibblingz and iSWiFTER.

Gaming remains the most popular mobile application category, with 64 percent of U.S. wireless subscribers playing mobile titles in the last 30 days according to research published earlier this month by Nielsen. Gamers across iOS platform spent 14.7 hours a month playing mobile titles--the average Android gamer dedicates 9.3 hours per month, followed by Windows Phone 7 users (4.7 hours), BlackBerry users (4.5 hours) and feature phone users (4.5 hours).

For more:
- read this release

Related articles:
Nielsen: iOS users spend twice as much time playing mobile games
Flurry: iOS, Android games rake in $800M in 2010
PopCap: One third of adults play mobile games each month
Forecast: Mobile game ad spend to reach $900 million by 2015
Gartner: Mobile game revenues to top $5.6 billion this year