Outspark Raises $11 Million

Outspark Inc., a San Francisco-based provider of a “virtual playground” for online gamers , has raised $11 million in Series B funding. Tencent Holdings Ltd. of China led the round, and was joined by return backers Altos Ventures and DCM.

 

PRESS RELEASE

Outspark, a new unique publisher and operator of free online community games, today announced it has raised $11 million in Series B financing. Leading the round is Tencent Holdings, the operator of China's top Internet portal and instant messaging service. Existing investors DCM and Altos Ventures also participated in the round, which will help Outspark expand and enhance a virtual playground that has attracted more than 1 million registered users in less than five months.

 

“Online gaming has become one of the most important new cultural phenomena in Asia, and we believe that PC-based online games will find a huge market here in North America as well. Outspark is off to a great start in building a strong user community with its titles,” said David Wallerstein, Tencent Senior Executive Vice President of International.

 

Outspark will use the additional funding for growth, expansion and the enhancement of current offerings, which already include the games Fiesta and Secret of the Solstice. It will also explore further cooperation with Tencent and other talented online game developers located around the world.

 

“It's an exciting time for the online gaming industry as it quickly becomes mainstream entertainment,” said Susan Choe, Outspark founder and CEO. “At Outspark, our vision to provide a leading virtual playground for all gamers is rapidly gaining recognition from the gaming community. We look forward to providing even more interactive online entertainment for our growing audience.”

Featuring a world-class team from leading consumer Internet, media and gaming companies including Yahoo, Electronic Arts, Blizzard, Nexon, Dreamworks and NHN, Outspark continues to aggressively source top-notch games from talented developer partners around the world and deliver on its promise of building a user friendly virtual playground accessible to players of all ages and experience levels.

 

“We're happy to see Outspark's strong team deliver on their promise to revolutionize online entertainment in North America,” said Han Kim, General Partner and co-founder of Altos Ventures. “It's a great time to be involved in this industry.”

 

“A promising leader in the online gaming industry, Outspark is part of a growing trend in which major Chinese Internet companies are making strategic investments in the United States,” said David Chao, co-founder and general partner of DCM. “We are very pleased with Outspark's accomplishments and look forward to the global opportunities that lie ahead.”

 

About Outspark

A unique publisher and operator of free online community games, Outspark is redefining interactive entertainment through an engaging virtual playground accessible to players of all ages and experience levels. The company's global reach enables it to select the most compelling social games from talented development teams located around the world. Backed by Tencent, Altos Ventures and DCM, Outspark is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, with a subsidiary office in Seoul, Korea. For more information, visit http://www.outspark.com .

 

About Tencent

Tencent aims to enrich the interactive online experience of Internet users in China by providing a comprehensive range of Internet and wireless value-added services. Through various online platforms that include the Instant Messaging service “QQ,” web portal QQ.com, QQ Game portal, multi-media blog service Qzone and wireless portals, Tencent provides online services to the largest community in China and fulfills user needs for communication, information, entertainment and e-Commerce online.

 

Tencent currently operates three principal lines of business: Internet value-added services, mobile and telecommunications value-added services and online advertising. Shares of Tencent Holdings Limited are traded on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited, under stock code 700. For more information, please visit www.tencent.com/ir .

 

About Altos Ventures

Altos Ventures is a first-stage venture capital firm that focuses on developing emerging technology companies into market leaders. Since 1996, Altos has worked closely with talented entrepreneurs to build companies that currently generate more than $1 billion in annual revenue. Altos manages several funds on behalf of leading endowments, fund-of-funds, financial institutions and family office investors based in North America and Asia. Altos Ventures is located in Menlo Park, California. Additional information is available at www.altosventures.com .

 

About DCM

DCM is an early stage venture capital firm supporting entrepreneurs building world-class technology companies. The firm's partners manage US$1.6 billion and have funded leading technology companies including 2Wire, 51job, About.com, Arroyo, Clearwire, Dang Dang, eDreams, Foundry Networks, HireRight, Internap, Neutral Tandem, PGP Corporation, Sigmatel, SMIC, Sling Media and Vimicro. DCM offers hands-on operational guidance and access to an extensive network of resources, including close relationships with many of the Pacific Rim's leading companies and investors. For more information, please visit DCM's website at www.dcm.com .