Mobile Game Developer Kabam Raises USD 120M from Alibaba Investment

Mobile gaming company, Kabam has raised USD 120 million in Series E round at a valuation of more than USD 1 billion led by Chinese E-commerce company Alibaba, as per TechCrunch report. Kabam CEO Kevin Chou told the WSJ that “This strategic collaboration with Alibaba provides Kabam the resources, infrastructure and distribution to help bring our current and future durable franchise games to China and elsewhere in Asia and make an immediate impact.”

kabam

See Also: Alibaba to acquire stake in chinese internet television company

Earlier, Kabam had secured USD 85M in Series D, USD 30M in Series C, USD 5.5M in Series B and USD 4M in Series A, till date. The latest round brings the total capital of the company is USD 244.5M. The company has made six acquisitions and is backed by nine investors. It consisting of 772 employees in its current team.

The company claims to have more than 800 employees around the world, with corporate headquarters in San Francisco. It is known for developing games as “Dragons of Atlantis” and for buying the naming rights to UC Berkeley’s Memorial Stadium.

Till date, Alibaba had invested in 13 companies including this latest one and secured total USD 1.1 billion in four funding round. It operating online marketplaces for both international and domestic China trade along with an online payment system, AliPay.

At present, Alibaba Group has 12 major businesses and affiliated entities, including alibaba.com, Taobao.com, Tmall, Alipay, koubei.com, Aliyun, etao.com, net.cn, Juhuasuan.com, CNZZ, and Onetouch. It was officially established by its 18 founders in 1999 and went  Public on Nov 16, 2007.

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Tech Crunch says: According to Kabam COO Kent Wakeford, Kabam is taking a pragmatic approach to its new efforts in China. While the country offers a huge opportunity — representing approximately 50 percent of the global gaming market — there are significant issues that Kabam had to consider. “The Chinese market is very complicated,” he told me during our call. “You’ve got to deal with fragmentation in the Android ecosystem, [many] different types of devices, different payment SDKs… a lot of work goes into culturalizing a game for the market.”

Alibaba has only recently started bringing Western games to its audience. Back in May, the company released indie title Blek on Mobile Taobao. By comparison, that move was barely dipping its toes in the water — as Kabam notes in its blog post, games like The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle-earth and Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North have each generated more than US$100 million in revenue.

To contact the author, email at sujata@iamwire.com.

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