Mobile entertainment network Scopely has secured $35 million in Series A financing. Evolution Media Partners and Highland Capital Partners led the round. Other investors were Knoll Ventures, Greycroft, The Chernin Group, Sands Capital Ventures and Double M Capital. In addition to the funding, Rick Hess of Evolution and Andy Hunt of Highland Capital Partners have been added to Scopely’s board of directors.
LOS ANGELES – Nov. 13, 2014 – Scopely has closed a $35M Series A financing round led by Evolution Media Partners (”Evolution”), a joint venture with TPG Growth, Participant Media, and Evolution Media Capital (“EMC”) and Highland Capital Partners. In addition, former AT&T CEO David Dorman’s Knoll Ventures participated in the financing alongside existing investors Greycroft, The Chernin Group, Sands Capital Ventures and Double M Capital. The raise will be used to advance Scopely’s mission of establishing the world’s premier touchscreen entertainment network, expanding and diversifying Scopely’s successful lineup of mobile game titles across original and globally celebrated entertainment properties.
Rick Hess, Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner of EMC and Evolution, and Andy Hunt, Partner, Highland Capital Partners and Co-Founder of Warby Parker, will join Scopely’s Board of Directors, alongside Scopely Co-Founder & CEO Walter Driver and Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer Eytan Elbaz, who was also a founding member of Applied Semantics.
“Scopely has seen a tremendous acceleration of our business in 2014: we’ve added some of the top talent in the industry, more than doubled our revenue run rate in the past six months and formed partnerships with developers that are capable of delivering tentpole products in multiple genres across a diverse set of original and key licensed properties,” said Driver. “Evolution Media Partners and Highland Capital Partners are ideal partners that share our vision and bring unique expertise and relationships that span technology, consumer products and traditional media.”
Scopely’s unique model for building a mobile entertainment media company is multi-pronged. Scopely develops games with both its internal studio and a carefully curated group of elite game developers with deep experience and expertise in their respective genres. The company’s publishing platform powers a wide range of services, including product optimization, distribution, player growth and retention, live operations and monetization. Scopely’s model has already succeeded in catapulting six games into the Top 5 and building a network of more than 35 million players.
“We believe the Scopely model is the future of mobile interactive entertainment,” said Hunt. “Scopely has built a world-class team and platform that will allow new and high-visibility franchises to build groundbreaking mobile games.”
“Scopely is in a unique position to emerge as a leading network for touchscreen entertainment,” noted Hess. “As we look at the new media space, Scopely stands out with its stellar team, successful games and ability to bring hot entertainment franchises to mobile. We are thrilled to join their ride as they expand and flourish.”
The company has also recently brought on senior executives and team leads from leading entertainment companies, including Disney Interactive, Electronic Arts, GREE, Kabam, Activision and more.
For more information on Scopely, please visit scopely.com.
About Evolution Media Partners
Evolution Media Partners (Evolution) is a joint venture between Evolution Media Capital (EMC), TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity investment platform of global investment firm TPG, and Participant Media, the global entertainment company founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll. Evolution will partner with and invest up to $350 million in growth-stage media, sports, and global entertainment companies. EMC is a merchant bank focused on the media and sports industries, formed as a partnership with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and offering investment advisory, asset management, industry research, and capital-raising services. In the media rights space, EMC provides a wide array of advisory services including strategic analysis, valuation and negotiation of media rights and regional sports network planning and operational strategy.
About Highland Capital Partners
Founded in 1988, Highland Capital Partners is a global venture capital firm focused on putting the entrepreneur first. With offices in Silicon Valley, Boston and Shanghai, Highland has raised over $3 billion in committed capital and invested in more than 225 companies, resulting in category-defining businesses across consumer and enterprise technology. Investments include 2U, Ask Jeeves, Bromium, LevelUp, Lycos, MapQuest, Qihoo 360, Quattro Wireless, RentJuice, Rent the Runway, Starent Networks, Sybase, VMTurbo, VistaPrint and WePay.
Scopely is a premier mobile entertainment network dedicated to offering the very best games across all genres. Scopely brings the traditional entertainment model of blending in-house development with hand-picked third party talent and intellectual properties to build out a catalog of carefully cultivated franchises to mobile free-to-play games. Scopely’s games leverage its proprietary platform for technology, distribution, marketing and monetization with an all-star team of 100 + engineers, data scientists and product managers. The company was founded in 2011 by social gaming entrepreneur, Walter Driver; former Applied Semantics co-founder, Eytan Elbaz; former lead software developer on MySpace’s Developer Platform, Ankur Bulsara; and startup veteran, Eric Futoran.