Mobile games start-up founded by Playfish staff closes funding round

Index Ventures has made a play in the mobile gaming sector by backing London-based Supersolid.

A business formed by four ex-Playfish employees has closed its first funding round having been bootstrapped since foundation.

Skype and Dropbox backer Index Ventures is leading the undisclosed investment alongside Initial Capital through a deal led by partner, and former GrowthBusiness Power Top 50 winner, Ben Holmes.

The mobile gaming business was set up 2012 by Kenneth Fejer, Tommy Chuang, Michelle Chuang and Ed Chin – all of whom had held positions at social games creator Playfish, before it was acquired by Electronic Arts in 2009.

Having launched its first game, Super Penguins, a year ago, Supersolid is launching a second game to coincide with the funding round.

The capital it has secured from its two new venture capital backers will be put to work expanding its team based in the capital and growing the distribution of its games worldwide.

Speaking to GrowthBusiness, Chin, co-founder of Supersolid, says that the start-up’s team is very complimentary. With a strong artist, creative director, talented coder and product management specialist, the foursome have together made over 70 titles prior to setting up the company.

‘We are looking at mobile and tablet games, with a focus on casual and casual to mid-core free-to-play offerings,’ Chin adds.

‘The key approach we take is that we focus on the game and its customer retention, and then the monetisation follows.’

The capital secured from Index Ventures and Initial Capital, Chin says, is about giving the business the flexibility it needs to be reactive.

‘We’ve closed the round in case we want to scale the team faster than planned or want to focus more on marketing in response to how audiences respond to the game coming out,’ Chin explains.

‘It has definitely got more competitive in the mobile gaming space, there are so many developers in London. The guys who really stand out are those with previous experience of knowing what audience want and also understanding free-to-play.’

Holmes of Index Ventures, whose other investments include Just-Eat, Secret Escapes and, comments, ‘This was a unique opportunity to invest in a proven games development team and we were highly impressed by current games and the game pipeline.’

The Supersolid team’s involvement with Index Ventures stemmed from the firm’s investment in Playfish back in 2008, where three were in employees from the outset. Holmes himself served as a director at Playfish before it was sold for $400 million (£240 million).

‘We have another game lined up for early next year,’ Chin reveals. ‘In the first phase of the company, we are putting a few games out there and hopefully players take to them and enjoy them.’

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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