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TinyCo is getting a not-so-tiny bank account.
The mobile gaming developer has raised $20 million in financing from venture capitalists Pinnacle Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz. The San Francisco company will use the money to focus on a “new mission to create deeper, higher quality free-to-play mobile games.”
TinyCo hasn’t always been focused on quality. At least not the way that companies such as Epic’s Chair Entertainment, Supercell, or GungHo Entertainment have been. It has published a lot of me-too casual games that have gotten big audiences but aren’t known for their quality or originality.
The company’s popular games include Tiny Monsters and Tiny Castle. Since 2010, TinyCo’s games have been downloaded more than 85 million times on Apple, Google, and Amazon mobile devices.
“Mobile gamers aren’t stupid – they want more from the market than uninspired clones and low production values,” said Suleman Ali, the cofounder and chief executive of TinyCo. “The only path forward is to produce games that bring something special to the table. That’s why we’ve taken the time to improve our processes and tighten our focus. We have to develop bigger, better games.”
TinyCo previously raised $18 million in funding in 2011. Andreessen Horowitz led that prior round, with angel investors Ron Conway and Keith Rabois also participating. TinyCo says it’ll use the funds to bring on additional design and production resources for new games for 2014.
TinyCo has added Mike O’Brien, the president and cofounder of ArenaNet and executive producer of the Guild Wars franchise, and he joins Ali and Andreessen Horowitz’s Marc Andreessen on the company’s board. O’Brien brings decades of gaming experience to TinyCo.
TinyCo also recently added gaming veterans Chelsea Howe, Will Luton, and Brett Levin. Ali founded TinyCo in 2009 and it has launched more than a dozen successful games.