Japanese mobile game developer DeNA has added $27.5 million to a new strategic investment fund for social games. The fund is called Incubate Fund Number 1 Limited Partnership. The investment effectively gives DeNA an 83.3% stake in the new fund.
The fund's stated goal is to find and invest in new enterprises that drive social media, with preference given to game developers that DeNA can include in its Mobage Town platform. The fund will seek out enterprises that are seeking funding at the seed level or other stages.
DeNA reported Q4 2009 revenue of $205 million, an 81% year-over-year increase. DeNA's total revenues for 2009 were $510 million, up 28% from 2008 revenues. This figure is comparable to the roughly $600 million run rate forecast for Zynga this year. This revenue dates from before DeNA's recent partnership with Yahoo! Japan, which is expected to drive much higher traffic to Mobage Town through the Yahoo! Mobage service.
Yahoo will be helping DeNA seek out game developers for potential investment. Preference will be given to mobile and social game developers that seek to develop games for both the Japanese and global markets. DeNA's commitment to the fund is unusual given the ongoing downturn in the wider Japanese games market. DeNA operates games for both mobile devices, generally Japanese feature phones, and PC portals. Its games are not primarily distributed by any particular Japanese social network.
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