Runa Capital, the very active Russian venture capital firm, has invested $3 million in what it describes as a “very profitable” mobile browser games maker, called Playtox.
The proceeds from the Series A round of financing will be used to introduce Playtox’s massively multiplayer online (MMO) mobile browser gaming titles to the rest of the world (after focusing on Russia and CIS countries initially), including the US and a number of emerging markets.
The fresh cash will also be used to bring some HTML5 technology goodness to Playtox’s MMO line-up.
Playtox essentially focuses on the browser to ensure anyone can play its games, regardless of whether they’re using a smartphone or ‘feature phone’, and which operating system their device of choice runs on.
Thus, the company asserts, it’s ‘app store independent’ and poised for huge growth in revenues.
DeNa and GREE might beg to differ, as their efforts to go global with its browser-based games haven’t been met with great success – see GREE confirms it is shutting its office in China and will lay off all 120 local staff, and Japan’s DeNA posts record annual revenue, but growth slows.
Serguei Beloussov, Senior Partner at Runa Capital, comments:
“Runa is investing in fast-growing areas of the tech sector, and we recognized that Playtox has an opportunity to grow and position itself as a global leader in mobile browser-based gaming.
Playtox is helping to advance the gaming industry by providing easy browser access to any user or partner without the hassle of lengthy downloads or incompatible devices. We see Playtox really excelling as they expand into new areas, and we are pleased to assist them in this growth and accelerate it.”
It’s certainly off to a good start, two years in: Playtox currently boasts 25 million registered users, with almost 1 million monthly active users (MAU) from Russia, Southern Asia and Latin America.
Notably, Playtox also recently scored a partnership with Norwegian browser maker Opera Software, making the company the preferred partner for mobile browser games in Russia and CIS.
A few weeks ago, the startup announced that it appointed Bogdan Grishin, formerly Head of Global Merchandising for Nokia Store, as its new CMO.
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