Israel’s Dragonplay raises $14M for free-to-play mobile social games

Israeli social and mobile game startup Dragonplay has raised $14 million in a first round of funding. The investors are Accel Partners, Entrée Capital, and Founder Collective.

This is a large amount of money for a Series A funding for a mobile and social game startup. But Accel has made big bets before, such as its $42 million investment in Angry Birds publisher Rovio and its early investment in Facebook. It has also invested in game companies Playfish, Gameforge, and Mindcandy.

Tel Aviv-based Dragonplay is making multiplatform games that run on both social networks and on mobile platforms. The company is focusing on card, casino, and board games and is best known for Live Holdem Poker Pro. That game has more than 12 million installs on Google Play (the former Android Market) and 2 million monthly active players. The category is a hot one because of the chance that online casino games could become legalized gambling outlets at some point in the future.

Chief Executive Sharon Tal founded Dragonplay in 2010 with seed capital from Entrée Capital. The company will use this recent investment to expand on Android and Facebook and has already moved early into the Android market. It has launched three free-to-play apps in the last 12 months: Live BlackJack, Farm Slots, and Sea Battle.

“The Accel team has backed some of the most admired gaming companies in the world,” said Tal. “We are proud to be joining its portfolio and look forward to working with the team to make Dragonplay a truly global, cross-platform leader in our space.”

Dragonplay has 23 employees.

“Dragonplay benefits directly from the spectacular growth of Android (estimated at more than 800,000 new activations per day), the emergence of smartphones as a primary gaming platform, and the impressive growth of the virtual goods market” says Adam Valkin, partner at Accel Partners who has joined the board of Dragonplay.

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