#Asia Former Zynga, WalmartLabs employees land $4m to push games worldwide


Photo credit: paylessimages / 123RF.

Photo credit: paylessimages / 123RF.

Siddharth Jain’s favorite part of building games is how holistic the process is, he tells Tech in Asia. That doesn’t just mean collaborating with different team roles, like artists, designers, and product developers – that means bringing aspects of the real world into games to make them relevant.

He takes me back to yesteryear, when he was working on Zynga game Vampire Wars and the world was in the thick of its vampire obsession. He asks me if I remember True Blood (as if I could forget that dark and strange period of my life).

“Most of these games have a TV series or movie parallel,” he explains. There are two sides of gaming – the data/analytics of the user base and “all the TV and movie serials to watch.” He loves making both sides meet.

PlaySimple's team. Photo credit: PlaySimple.

PlaySimple’s team. Photo credit: PlaySimple.

Today, he’s been able to make his passion meet money – he’s co-founded mobile social gaming company PlaySimple, which today announces it has raised US$4 million from SAIF Partners and IDG Ventures.

The company plans to use the investment to expand its team and to continue producing games with an international audience in mind. SAIF Partners previously participated in Chinese mobile game developer Linekong’s series C round.

IDG Ventures previously invested in the startup through one of its seed funding programs. It has also backed Vietnam-based gaming company Punch, which has since been acquired, as well as VNG.

PlaySimple offers trivia, word, and puzzle games. Siddharth, along with fellow ex-Zynga employees Preeti Reddy and Suraj Nalin, as well as former Walmart Labs engineer Siddhanth Jain, founded the startup in 2014. Siddharth formerly headed the product department for Zynga’s Mafia Wars and Bubble Safari.

The business’ 22-person team works out of Bangalore. Previously, the company participated in the Google Launchpad Accelerator.

Playing around the world

The majority of PlaySimple’s audience is over the age of 30, Siddharth tells Tech in Asia. It has two released games, emoji word guessing game GuessUp and word puzzle activity WordTrek. Siddharth, who heads up growth and marketing at the startup, did not disclose the number of active users.

PlaySimple has two more games currently in development.

Fellow former Zynga worker Tanay Tayal runs mobile game developer Moonfrog Labs, which raised funding from Tiger Global and Sequoia Capital last year.

The company has its eye set on the global gaming market. At the moment, Siddharth reports that most of its downloads come from the UK, the US, Australia, and Canada. He emphasizes the company’s data-driven approach to building games but gives a simple answer as to why he and his co-founders started the business in the first place.

“We really enjoy building games,” he says.

This post Former Zynga, WalmartLabs employees land $4m to push games worldwide appeared first on Tech in Asia.

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