If you recall, this Seattle-based company was the winner of our GamesBeat 2009 Who’s Got Game contest a year ago. Our second contest takes place on March 10 at the GamesBeat@GDC conference in San Francisco.
Exponential Entertainment was the hands-down winner in both the People’s Choice and Judge’s Choice categories. Dave Long, chief executive, said in an interview that the company raised a round of $700,000 from angel investors including the Band of Angels. The company has also raised $1 million in convertible debt, bringing its total financing to $1.7 million. Long said the company is in talks to raise a total of $3.25 million.
Exponential makes games on the web, Facebook, and iPhone that are built around the theme of Hollywood trivia games. The games test your knowledge on everything from actors to famous movie scenes. The company launched its first six games in beta form last fall on its HollywoodPlayer.com web site. Now it also has an iPhone game available as well as two games on Facebook.
Last week, the company launched a charitable giving feature that allows players to take the points they earn in a game and spend them on donations to three charities: The Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Starlight Foundation, and Waterfirst International. Long said the features have been a hit.
The company is monetizing the games right now through advertising. Later this year, it will launch a digital goods business, and it will also launch subscriptions later for premium services. So far, Exponential has 20,000 monthly unique users, a small but growing number. Long said the games are being distributed on MSN Entertainment and Wonder Wall now, with more distribution partners to be added later. And Long said that the company is just beginning to add viral features such as friend challenges on Facebook.
The company has 10 employees. All of the games blend entertainment with casual trivia and puzzle games. The company was founded in 2008 by Bill Kuper and Long. Kuper and Long invented the popular movie trivia DVD game series SceneIt? The series generated 25 editions and more than $500 million in sales for Screen Life, the predecessor company. In their new startup, Long and Kuper are essentially taking movie trivia games to the web and coming up with a more interesting mix of interactivity.