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BebopBee, a Silicon Valley game studio focused on match-3 puzzle games, has raised $2 million in funding.
The money comes from Bitkraft Ventures, 1Up Ventures, IGG, and angel investors Lei Ding (early contributor at Dfinity) and Rohit Singal, the founder of Machine.ai. BebobBee will use the capital to build live operations and a marketing program to acquire more players.
Former TinyCo, Zynga, and Jam City veterans Rajeev Nagpal, Cristian Zanier, and Anton Vikharev started the Fremont, California-based company.
In an email, Nagpal said his company has a culturalization edge.
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“We all have inherent pride in our culture and curiosity about others — the game appeals to that emotion and brings us all together, in a noble way by understanding each others’ culture a tiny bit more,” he said.
The studio wants to pioneer the next-generation of free-to-play match-3 puzzlers on mobile. Its most recent game, What a Wonderful World, has players solving thousands of challenging puzzle adventures, travel the world, and meet locals with unique stories to tell.
Features include Tripstagram, where players’ progress can reveal artistic wonders like the Louvre museum in Paris. You can meet characters like actress Scarlett Johansson in New York and learn about them via an artistically curated collection of quotes, images, and real-world videos. The company plans to partner with popular influencers and content creators in key cities to blend virtual and real-world experiences and allow for unique user-generated content opportunities.
BebopBee has hired Danny Moy, currently the chief strategy officer at SciPlay, as an adviser. Moy served in several senior business and operating roles over seven years at King, the creators of the popular mobile game Candy Crush. Nagpal is the CEO of BebopBee and he is in the San Francisco Bay Area, while the 11 others on the team are distributed elsewhere.
Nagpal said the content hasn’t grown stale, as players can spend a month in Paris, then move on to Tokyo and then Egypt. Things like the Tripstagram, city map, music, and characters keep things fresh.
“The fact that players spend an average of one hour per day in game is important, and this type of fresh content is new for the puzzle game sector,” Nagpal said.
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