PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 14, 2011) - Newly-launched, location-based mobile gaming start-up Red Robot Labs announced today that it has raised $8.5 million in funding led by Benchmark Capital, and that Benchmark's Mitch Lasky will be joining the company's board of directors. Shasta Ventures and existing investors Rick Thompson, co-founder of Playdom, and Chamath Palihapitiya, former Facebook executive, also participated in the Series A funding round. The company will use the financing to accelerate studio growth, propel development of their R2 location gaming platform, build third party studio partnerships, and deliver the most sophisticated and engaging games for mobile devices.
"Benchmark is focused on helping great entrepreneurs build successful companies," said Mitch Lasky, general partner at Benchmark Capital and new member of Red Robot's Board of Directors. "The team at Red Robot has created the most compelling combination we have seen of innovative game play and location-based social applications. We are extremely excited to invest in what we believe to be a huge market opportunity for location-based mobile gaming."
Last month at Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in Seattle, Red Robot Labs unveiled its inaugural location-based, massive multiplayer online mobile game, Life Is Crime, in which players collaborate and compete to commit virtual crimes at real locations. Over the PAX weekend the Convention Center location was the scene of more than 20,000 crimes, over 1,000 hospitalized criminals, $1M in contraband trafficked, and $35M robbed, stolen and laundered.
"We recognized the enormous opportunity presented by location gameplay on mobile devices -- location games are very sticky. We've developed a significant game and platform strategy that appeals to both core gamers and casual audiences seeking a high quality social gaming experience built around their daily routines," said Mike Ouye, CEO and Co-Founder of Red Robot Labs.
Existing investor and co-founder of Playdom Rick Thompson believes: "Red Robot Labs has nailed the full potential of the proliferation of smartphones with Life Is Crime. With this recent funding, Red Robot Labs is poised to continue capitalizing on mobile's capacity for location gaming and social networking through the development of new games. Both Life Is Crime and Red Robot Labs' R2 platform will themselves become the standard by which others are judged."
About Red Robot Labs
Red Robot Labs is a mobile gaming start-up located in Palo Alto, California. The company was founded in January 2011 by a team of industry veterans who are passionate about creating innovative, highly polished mobile-social games. CEO and Co-founder Mike Ouye previously ran monetization and revenue for social gaming start-ups Playdom and Crowdstar and revenue for leading performance ad network Adteractive. Co-founder and investor Chamath Palihapitiya is currently the founder of the Social+Capital Partnership, a venture fund focused on the social and technology spaces.
About Benchmark Capital
Benchmark Capital, a leading venture capital firm, was founded in 1995 to help outstanding entrepreneurs with original ideas build successful technology companies. Benchmark's general partners operate an equal partnership and take a hands-on approach to venture investing cloud, social, and mobile technology companies. Benchmark's portfolio includes high-profile start-ups such as Twitter, Yelp, Quora, Instagram, and Uber, recent exits such as OpenTable, ZipCar, and Metaweb, and franchise companies such as eBay, Juniper Networks, and Red Hat. The firm manages $2.5 billion in committed venture capital. For more information on Benchmark Capital, visit its website at www.benchmark.com.
About Shasta Ventures
Shasta Ventures is a venture capital firm focused on helping build technology-enabled companies that offer unique products and services to their customers. The firm focuses on early stage companies in the Internet services, software and mobile & wireless sectors. Its portfolio includes start-ups such as Lithium, mint and BankSimple. Shasta Ventures is located in Menlo Park, CA and manages over $200 million in venture capital. For more information about Shasta Capital, visit its website at www.shastaventures.com.