Zynga rival rising fast

Zynga rival rising fast

By Rob Crossley

May 26th 2011 at 10:50AM

Kabam raises another $85 million; staff grows from 25 to 400 in 16 months

Kabam, a little-known social games group based in San Francisco, has again raised huge investments from big-name VC firms.

The group has secured $85 million in a series D funding round led by Google Ventures and Pinnacle Ventures.

The investment now means Kabam has generated about $125 million in funding.

The deal comes amid concerns that social gaming is in a bubble, with global financial markets and investment bodies gripped by a fresh bout of tech fever.

Kabam said it has grown from 25 to over 400 employees in the past 16 months, based on “the strong performance of its Facebook game line-up”.

Google Ventures partner Joe Kraus has now joined Kabam’s board of directors as part of the deal.

The studio’s rate of growth mimics the giant of the social games space, Zynga. The FarmVille business has been independently valued at $7-10 billion in just four years since the company started.

Kabam said its success has come from bringing “hardcore games” to social networks, according to the firm’s CEO Kevin Chou.

“We’ve tapped into a major shift in hardcore gamer behaviour, as we create compelling social gaming experiences for traditional console and PC gamers,” he said.

“This round of funding enables us to build long term franchises and invest in amazing gaming experiences for our customers.

“We have a full pipeline of games and look forward to sharing more exciting news about our upcoming titles as we move through the year.”