Atariâ??s Gardner named in $5.5m Unity fund

Atariâ??s Gardner named in $5.5m Unity fund

By Rob Crossley

October 26th 2009 at 3:42PM

Unity engine group gets sizable investment along with two new board directors

On the eve of Unity's Unite conference in San Francisco this week, the firm has confirmed that it has secured $5.5 million in venture capital investments.

The investment round was led by venture group Sequoia Capital, though also saw cash injections from Atari CEO David Gardner as well as VMware founder Diane Greene.

Greene and Sequoia Capital partner Roelof Botha will now join Unity’s board of directors.

“Sequoia Capital's investment underscores the significant business opportunity in providing the best platform for the development of interactive content,” read a company statement.

Atari’s David Gardner lavished praise on the Unity development platform, which developers can use to build PC, Mac, Wii and iPhone titles.

"When I first saw the quality of games which could be produced with the Unity engine in such a short development time and in a web browser, I was blown away,” said Gardner.

“Pardon the pun, but it is a game changer and the Unity technology can greatly enhance the quality of browser visualization for many content providers,” he added.

"Then I met the people behind the technology and that is what turned me from a product fan to a company fan and investor. I believe in the passion and capability of the team, the straightforward business model and long term potential."

The announcement comes in the wake of widespread speculation of a Unity cash injection. What Unity has planned for the sizable investment remains unannounced.

Further Unity announcements are expected next week during the firm's Unite conference, at which Develop will be reporting from.

Sequoia Capital’s Roelof Botha expressed excitement in getting involved with Unity Technologies.

"We are seeing interactive content everywhere from game consoles to online virtual worlds and social networking websites,” said Botha.

“Unity Technologies is pioneering breakthrough products to allow developers to best respond to this demand. They are well positioned to become the standard for high quality content development."