UK startup Mojiworks lands Series A


UK-based Mojiworks, a games creator for chat and messaging platforms, has secured 2.1 million pounds in Series A funding. Balderton Capital led the round with participation from Lifeline Ventures and Sunstone Capital.

PRESS RELEASE

London, 7 November 2017 — Mojiworks, the leading start-up dedicated to creating games for the world’s fast-growing chat and messaging platforms, has raised £2.1 million in funding led by Balderton Capital, Europe’s largest early stage venture capital investor.

Balderton was joined in the fundraising by Lifeline Ventures and Sunstone Capital, and all three have proven track records of successful investments in other platform-leading games companies, including Wooga, Supercell and Seriously.

The £2.1 million funding will enable the Mojiworks team to launch multiple new game projects and expand their Guildford headquarters from 10 to 25 staff in the next twelve months.

With more than five billion people worldwide using messaging apps every month, messaging is set to become the next big platform for games, and Mojiworks is at the forefront of messaging games development.

Formed in November 2016 by veteran start-up founders Matthew Wiggins (CEO) and Alan Harding (CTO), Mojiworks develops and self-publishes multiplayer HTML5 games that users can play directly from their favourite messaging apps.

Mojiworks was the first to market with collaborative games for iMessage, and within its first year of operation, the team released two ‘proof of concept’ games MojiQuest and Moji Bowling, which between them have already attracted 1.5 million downloads.

With the latest round of investment secured, the company is focusing on developing games that bring together diverse groups of interconnected players, starting with QuestFriends, a multiplayer adventure game for Facebook Instant Games, which is aiming for launch later this year.

In QuestFriends, players will undertake quests in an original fantasy world, working together to tackle challenges and sharing in the rewards of their adventure — all via Facebook Messenger.

The game will enable friends and family to play together towards shared goals, and each individual player will contribute to the group’s overall success. The cooperative style will be a key feature of QuestFriends, allowing it to stand apart from the current crop of messaging games and make the most of the group interaction potential afforded by the latest messaging apps.

Facebook Messenger now has more than 1.3 billion monthly active users, providing QuestFriends and Mojiworks with a clear opportunity to attract huge pre-existing networks of potential players.

The latest funding will enable Mojiworks to develop additional game projects across a variety of other genres, and experiment with new types of game interactions made possible by the technology and the communities that are connected by messaging apps.

Matthew Wiggins, Founder and CEO of Mojiworks, said: “Since starting Mojiworks just twelve months ago, we’ve built a great core team and several proof-of-concept projects that excelled our goals many times over. It has confirmed our belief that messaging will be the next huge games opportunity. I’m tremendously pleased that, with Balderton’s involvement and continued support from Lifeline and Sunstone, we have a tight team of investors and advisors with a history of building companies that become market leaders through product innovation and cultural excellence. This investment will help drive our growth from pioneers in an emerging space to a leading force on the next platform where billions of people will play together.”

Suranga Chandratillake, Partner at Balderton Capital, said: “The games industry is one where, generation after generation, Europe has led the global way, making it a particularly important sector for a European venture capital firm like ours. With billions of people already connected in a low-friction, high-engagement environment, we believe that messaging platforms will be the next great game frontier. We are particularly excited to have this opportunity to work with Matthew and Al – they are successful, repeat entrepreneurs who have been designing, writing and producing games since they were at school and have already built an incredible team to take on this massive new opportunity.”

The three venture capital backers of Mojiworks’ fundraising have several major successes already under their belts. Balderton’s past investments include Wooga, NaturalMotion and Big Fish while Lifeline Ventures was an early investor in Supercell, and Sunstone Capital was an early backer of Seriously.

Alex Chapman, Jolita Kajtazi and Andrew Tzialli at Sheridans are Mojiworks’ legal representatives and acted for them in this transaction.

Visit moji.works to learn more about the company and see currently available roles.

ABOUT MOJIWORKS
Mojiworks is a VC-backed and rapidly growing UK startup dedicated to multiplayer HTML5 games for messaging platforms, including Apple’s iMessage and Facebook’s Instant Games services.

Founded in 2016 by Matthew Wiggins and Alan Harding, with funding from Balderton Capital, Sunstone Capital and Lifeline Ventures, Mojiworks is at the forefront of developing apps for emerging messaging platforms. Friends since age five, Al and Matthew previously worked together at Lionhead and went on to co-found UK startup Wonderland Software, developers of the no. 1 iOS title GodFinger, which sold to Zynga in 2011.

Mojiworks’ portfolio includes two games now playable on iMessage (MojiQuest and Moji Bowling) and a new collaborative adventure game called QuestFriends, to be launched on Facebook Instant Games in Q4 2017.

Additional projects are planned for 2018.

Based in Guildford, UK – one of the world’s leading game development hubs, and just 30 minutes from central London – Mojiworks is building a team of software development experts dedicated to making the very best entertainment experiences to share with friends over messaging.

For more about Mojiworks, visit moji.works.

ABOUT BALDERTON CAPITAL
Balderton Capital is Europe’s largest early stage venture capital investor, focused exclusively on European technology companies at Series A. Based in London, the firm manages $2.3bn and invests in entrepreneurs building globally ambitious businesses.

Balderton’s Partners and advisory team include the founders and operational leaders of multi-billion dollar companies including Business Objects, Dropbox, Google, Uber, WhatsApp and Yahoo. Investments include Talend (NASDAQ: TLND), Magic Pony Technologies (Twitter), Betfair (FTSE: BET), and YOOX Group (BIT: YNAP). Among Balderton’s current portfolio are: Aircall, Carwow, Citymapper, Kobalt Music, LoveCrafts, Nutmeg, Prodigy Finance, Revolut, ROLI, SOPHiA Genetics, The Hut Group and Zopa.

For more see http://www.balderton.com or follow @balderton.

ABOUT LIFELINE VENTURES
Lifeline Ventures is a Finland-based early-stage venture capital firm founded by serial entrepreneurs. We invest in strong founders in sectors we know by heart from our experience as entrepreneurs, and our goal is to be their first port of call in times of trouble and joy. So far, we have invested 70+ companies including category-leaders such as Applifier, Varjo, Moves, Supercell, uBiome, Smartly and ZenRobotics. Find out more at www.lifelineventures.com.

ABOUT SUNSTONE CAPITAL
Founded in 2007 and investing out of its fourth fund, Sunstone is one of Europe’s leading early-stage venture capital firms. Sunstone invests in seed and series A rounds in technology companies all across Europe, from its offices in Copenhagen and Berlin. They are the early-stage investors behind European successes such as GetYourGuide, Boozt, Prezi, Neo4j and Seriously. For more, visit sunstone.eu.

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