Sunstone Technology Ventures portfolio company Seriously raises $18 million to build out its mobile-first entertainment strategy.
Venice, California and Helsinki, Finland – August 4, 2015 – Seriously, a mobile entertainment start-up, today announced they have raised $18 million in a Series A round. Northzone, early backers of companies such as Spotify, Trustpilot, and Avito, led the round. Korea Investment Partners, investors in companies including Daum Kakao Corp. and Naver, also participated, along with previous investors Upfront Ventures, Sunstone Capital and Daher Capital. This brings Seriously’s total funding to date to $28 million.
With Seriously launching a trilogy of Best Fiends games, the new funds will be used to build out their production teams and invest in further industry-first marketing programs. Seriously is expanding the Best Fiends brand beyond the mobile game and into a global entertainment franchise.
“Seriously is reverse engineering the typical Hollywood approach to create an entertainment franchise with Nordic gaming at the heart of it,” said Bjorn Stray, Partner at Northzone. “We have been impressed by Seriously’s growth and team they have built in Los Angeles and Helsinki, and see extraordinary potential for disruption in the market.”
Seriously launched their first mobile game, Best Fiends, in October 2014, and since then, the game has been downloaded over 15 million times with up to 1.35 million daily active players. The company plans to release the second game in the trilogy later this year.
“We think about the Best Fiends app as a platform for our intellectual property, and since launching less than 10 months ago with a small but experienced team, we have focused on continually enhancing the experience with frequent updates featuring new characters, events and addictive gameplay,” said Andrew Stalbow, Co-Founder and CEO at Seriously. “We are thrilled to now work with the talented teams at Northzone and Korea Investment Partners as we add more consumer and Asia expertise to support the next phase of growth.”
Seriously recently partnered with Kidrobot, the premier creator and dealer of limited edition art toys, to launch collectible Best Fiends X Kidrobot vinyl toy figures. The company also launched on Apple Watch on day one of the Watch’s release and announced a soon to be released localized version of Best Fiends for the Korean market through a partnership with Incross.
“At Upfront Ventures, we look to invest in companies that have the potential to become next-generation market leaders,” said Steven Dietz, Partner at Upfront Ventures. “As Seriously has proven so far, their mobile-first approach to building a brand is at the forefront of challenging the traditional Hollywood formula.”
Best Fiends features some of the most fun and challenging match and battle levels in an addictive mobile puzzle adventure. Download Best Fiends for iOS, Android and Amazon devices at http://download.bestfiends.com.
Seriously is a mobile-first entertainment start-up focused on building mobile games that are designed to be developed into global entertainment properties. The company’s world-class creative team is passionate about great storytelling, unique characters, dramatic conflict, unlikely heroes and building brands that can make a difference.
The company is backed by Upfront Ventures, Northzone, Korea Investment Partners, Sunstone Capital, and Daher Capital. Seriously has offices in Venice, California, where business development and marketing are based, and in Helsinki, Finland, where the studio is located.
Jennifer Stephens Acree