MySpace founder and former CEO Chris DeWolfe’s new company has raised an amount rumoured to be over $20 million, and has acquired social gaming company MindJolt, TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington reports.
The goal is to become a big player in the red-hot social gaming industry, which is led by the likes of Zynga.
DeWolfe’s company, which has taken MindJolt’s name, is being backed by Austin Ventures, whose partners Chris Pacitti and Tom Ball have come on board as directors.
MindJolt games — from roughly 1,000 third-party developers — have over 19 million monthly users on Facebook alone.
DeWolfe’s company is heavily staffed with other former MySpacers, and plans to keep purchasing social gaming companies as part of a “roll up” strategy, Arrington reports. For now, they say they’re busy “hiring like crazy.”
Here’s the release that MindJolt just sent out:
MYSPACE FOUNDERS PARTNER WITH AUSTIN VENTURES TO ACQUIRE MINDJOLT
Social Web Pioneers Building MindJolt Into Next Generation Platform for Game Developers
SAN FRANCISCO — March 3, 2010 — MySpace Founders Chris DeWolfe, Colin Digiaro, and Aber Whitcomb today announced a partnership with Austin Ventures, to acquire MindJolt, one of the fastest growing online social gaming platforms. With more than 20 million monthly active unique users on Facebook, MindJolt.com and other social sites, the company aggregates 1,300 of the best casual games on the Web from developers worldwide.
Building on MindJolt’s expansive online footprint, the new team will extend the platform by focusing on three major initiatives including: (1) increased monetization through major brand partnerships and virtual good offerings, (2) expanding MindJolt’s global presence to all relevant websites and smart phone platforms, and (3) working closer with game developers to create tools for single player and multiplayer social games.
“MindJolt has quickly become an “onramp” to the Internet for the world’s independent game developers,” said Chris DeWolfe, CEO of MindJolt and former CEO of MySpace. “We’re building out the company to become the next generation platform for game developers. Our goal is to make it even easier for developers to get their games noticed and make more money from their work. At the same time we will deliver the most social and viral gaming experiences to our millions of users everywhere”
With over 20 million monthly active users across the Web, MindJolt provides game developers of any size a way to monetise their games, access to massive distribution on the world’s most popular social platforms, and creates viral game play by injecting unique social layers into the casual and social game experience. More than 1,000 game developers use the company’s application to reach audiences across the world’s most popular social platforms. The sheer number of game players on MindJolt levels the playing field for indie game developers by giving them access to an engaged, highly social audience.
“We’ve always backed great management teams and great companies,” said Chris Pacitti, General Partner of Austin Ventures. “A partnership with the MySpace founders is a rare opportunity and MindJolt is a company with the right scale, momentum, and market position to succeed. We’re thrilled to be a partner on this deal.”
Based in San Francisco, MindJolt’s executive team includes Chief Executive Officer Chris DeWolfe (co-founder and former CEO of MySpace), Chief Operating Officer Colin Digiaro (MySpace’s former head of Monetization and co-founder of SlingShot Labs), Chief Technology Officer Aber Whitcomb (MySpace’s former Chief Technology Officer and co-founder of MySpace), SVP of Business and Corporate Development Josh Yguado (Former VP of Business Development at Fox Networks Group), and Richard Fields, the founder of MindJolt and head of product strategy.
“Independent game developers have always been the lifeblood of MindJolt. We’ve done a great job of connecting with the independent casual game community and we’re looking to expand our efforts to social game developers as well.” said Richard Fields, Founder of MindJolt. “The new MindJolt team is united on its vision to empower game developers of every size to build their businesses. We now have the resources to extend our product vision and build what they’re asking us for.”
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