Game-streaming firm Gaikai raises $30M

Game-streaming startup Gaikai said today it has raised $30 million in a third round of funding.

The Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based company is one of the vendors of cloud gaming, where games are computed in servers and then video of games is delivered to users over high-speed internet connections. As a result, users can play high-end games on any device and can log into their saved games from anywhere. Big brands, such as Walmart.com, can use the service to embed games on their web sites and users can play them instantly.

The round was led by venture capital firm NEA. Also participating were Qualcomm, Benchmark Capital, Rustic Canyon and Intel Capital.

David Perry, chief executive of Gaikai, said the company will use the money to accelerate the rollout of its Interactive Cloud Network. Gaikai competes with the much-larger OnLive as well as other rivals such as Otoy, and Playcast. Gaikai needs to set up lots of servers in locations around the world to provide fast games-on-demand service to users.

In a statement, Perry said, “We have all become used to accessing every song ever made, every book ever written, every movie in every genre through cloud-based services. Gaikai is bringing this same functionality to video games and other interactive software.”

Gaikai’s value proposition is that it can allow users to instantly play online-connected games; consumers would otherwise have to wait an hour or so to download a full game before they could play it on a high-end computer. Gaikai can also embed games as promotions or demos within sites such as Facebook, Electronic Arts or Walmart.com. Gaikai was founded in 2009 and has 65 employees.