GamesBeat

Flaregames raises $7.9M from Accel for free-to-play mobile games (exclusive)

Flaregames has raised 6 million euros, or $7.9 million, in a funding round led by Accel Partners. The money will help beef up the company founded by Klaas Kersting, who also founded Germany’s Gameforge.

Kersting’s Karlsruhe, Germany-based Flaregames is focused on free-to-play mobile games, where users play for free and pay real money for virtual goods. Previously, the company was focused on mobile reality games that blended virtual and real worlds, but the company decided that free-to-play mobile games had more potential.

Kersting plans to launch five games by the end of the second quarter. As the founder of Gameforge, Kersting created a downloadable online games company that grew to more than 400 employees, $150 million in revenue, and 200 million registered users.

“Our first focus is on getting fun, high-quality games to market and reaching the mass-market as well as mid-core gamers with our line-up this year,” said Kersting. “Our investors see the opportunity for mobile game companies to grow fast, and the team’s extensive knowledge of the free-to-play gaming market is an asset that will enable us to create new mobile games that are both fun and commercially successful.”

Kersting started the company in April 2011 along with Andreas Suika, former lead game designer for Ubisoft Blue Byte. Flaregames now has 30 employees.

“The mobile games business will likely be larger than the social games business,” said Harry Nelis, partner at Accel Partners. “We’re backing Flaregames because we believe in the team, technology, and business model and most of all know that Klaas will drive the company to its full potential as it strives to become a major mobile games company.”

Accel has backed more than 300 successful companies, from Admob to Facebook. In gaming, it has invested in Rovio, maker of Angry Birds, and Playfish, which was acquired by Electronic Arts.


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