Yesterday evening, Finnish mobile developer and soon-to-be general entertainment company, Seriously, announced that they had successfully raised $18 million in a series A investment round led by Northzone.
Even before Finnish Seriously had released their first mobile game, Best Fiends, in October 2014, the studio had already received $10 million in a seed investment round.
Today, only 10 months after the release of their first game, they received an additional $18 million from Northzone – the early backers of companies such as Spotify and Trustpilot, Korea Investment Partners, and their previous investors such as Upfront Ventures, Sunstone Capital, and Daher Capital.
“Seriously is reverse engineering the typical Hollywood approach to create an entertainment franchise with Nordic gaming at the heart of it,” says Bjorn Stray, Partner at Northzone.
“We have been impressed by Seriously’s growth and team they have built in Los Angeles and Helsinki, and see extraordinary potential for disruption in the market.”
The disruption Northzone refers to is based in Seriously’s approach to building a franchise around the Best Fiends IP.
Because instead of creating an entertainment franchise starting with a movie, and then building games, merchandise etc. on top of the success of the movie, Seriously started out with their mobile title.
Since the release of the first mobile game, the studio has also entered the merchandise race in cooperation with Kidrobot, released their game on the Apple Watch, and is currently planning the release of the second and third game in the Best Fiends trilogy.
“Seriously is expanding the Best Fiends brand beyond the mobile game and into a global entertainment franchise., the studio says.
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15 million downloads and 1.35 million daily active users since the release on iOS and Android speaks for itself.
But it is the combination of those two numbers in addition to an average play session of 14 minutes that has really helped boost the total gross revenue for the first 10 months to $11,000,000.
A number that the first round of investors were clearly satisfied with, seeing as they have now decided to invest even more in the young startup.
Among the new investors are Korean Investment Partners, who apart from money also brought with them valuable experiences and expertise in the lucrative Asian mobile market. A market that Seriously is looking to increasingly focus on with the new investment.
“We are thrilled to now work with the talented teams at Northzone and Korea Investment Partners as we add more consumer and Asia expertise to support the next phase of growth.”, said Andrew Stalbow, Co-Founder and CEO at Seriously.
In fact, along with the news about the investment, Seriously also revealed that they have been working on a localized version of Best Fiends for the Korean market. A version of the game that has been developed in partnership with Incross.
What exactly the future holds for Seriously, apart from the two last games in the trilogy, is yet to be revealed. But according to one of the investors, Upfront Ventures, we will most likely hear much more about Seriously in the immediate future, as they look to continue building their brand beyond mobile.
“At Upfront Ventures, we look to invest in companies that have the potential to become next-generation market leaders,” said Steven Dietz, Partner at Upfront Ventures. “As Seriously has proven so far, their mobile-first approach to building a brand is at the forefront of challenging the traditional Hollywood formula.”
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