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Lila Games has raised $10 million in funding for its free-to-play mobile game studio. The team is working on a mobile shooter game.
The company is tapping game developers in India to build its games, and it is maintaining a big presence in Bangalore, India.
Rainfall led the round, and other investors included Bitkraft Ventures, Galaxy Interactive, Sequoia Capital, and Krafton. In addition, notable angel investors also participated including Ryan Wyatt, CEO of Polygon Studios; Tanay Tayal, CEO of Moonfrog Labs, and Thomas Vu, producer of Arcane: League of Legends.
Lila Games will use the investment to develop their first title and to further build out their Bangalore, India-based team, said Joseph Kim, CEO and cofounder of Lila Games, in an interview with GamesBeat.
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“We started the company to try and create a different type of organization. So I had been working in mobile game publishing for a number of years, and I just felt that there was a better way to structure and organize and create a different kind of company,” Kim said. “Given what’s happening in the world, today, we’re starting to see a lot of companies springing up in different areas. When we thought about potential opportunities to build a new studio, we looked at India and we felt very encouraged by the fact that there was a very smart labor force there. ”
Kim, former chief product officer at Sega and ex-studio lead at FunPlus; Paul Leydon, former lead game designer at FunPlus and MZ; and Avinash Pandey, previous cofounder of June Gaming and a Y Combinator alumni. Previously having launched top-grossing mobile game titles such as King of Avalon and Game of War, the team has combined their years of experience to launch a highly social survival/looter game, Kim said.
“Very rarely have I seen a team that is so obsessed with building a company around a vision with culture first and a level of executional excellence that stands best in class,” said Jens Hilgers, founding general partner at Bitkraft Ventures, in a statement. “Our confidence in Lila Games’ vision is unchanged but our confidence in the team has only been growing ever since we led the Seed Round early last year. Lila’s first game ‘Black’ will redefine the mobile shooter genre, which I can say with certainty and excitement while I witness the game coming together.”
“We started the company to try and create a different type of organization. So I had been working in mobile game publishing for a number of years, and I just felt that there was a better way to structure and organize and create a different kind of company,” Kim said. “Given what’s happening in the world, today, we’re starting to see a lot of companies springing up in different areas. When we thought about potential opportunities to build a new studio, we looked at India and we felt very encouraged by the fact that there was a very smart labor force there. “
Kim said the team has located a number of people around the world who are best at their craft, and the company decided that creating a team in India would be a way to complement that staff.
“We see this as an opportunity to take gaming in the right direction,” Kim said. “And in India, we felt there were a number of people who wanted to become the best, but didn’t have that opportunity. I personally was very excited about India and developing an opportunity platform there.”
The company started in October 2020. Kim said that it turned out to be a great time to raise money, as gaming has seen a boom in the pandemic and investors are pouring money into game companies. Likewise, Kim sees a boom happening in the Indian market, with more talented developers emerging. The company will use its team in India to make games for the global market.
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