Bangalore-based startup Moonfrog Labs has raised $15 million in a Series A round of funding from Tiger Global and existing investor Sequoia Capital, reports Techcrunch. The startup had previously raised $1 million in a seed round from Sequoia.

Moonfrog Labs will use the funds to hire and develop games in different genres including strategy, action and roleplaying. The startup also plans to grow its technology platform including data analytics and backend systems and sign strategic distribution agreements using the funds. It mentions that it will release new titles over the next two years and is building a platform for multiplayer games.

Currently, Moonfrog offers four Android games, two of which are Bingo club games, a 3 Patti Slots game and Teen Patti Gold. The company claims that Teen Patti Gold is its most popular game with over two million downloads, while the other games have seen over 50,000 downloads each. Its not very clear as to why Moonfrog offers two variants of the same game, both seem similar in the features they offer and the systems they support. Teen Patti Gold and Bingo club are available as iPhone and iPad apps as well.

According to Moonfrog, it designs its games to use less bandwidth and battery power to allow them to run even on the cheapest smartphones keeping in mind its audience in India. The company also holds promotional events during holidays and events, for example, it mentions it allowed players to throw (virtual) dye and paint at each other across the table during Holi. Founded in 2013, the startup monetizes its app via in-app purchases instead of using ads, which it claims helps retain user engagement.

Teen teen patti?

In June last year, Octro, the company behind Teen Patti, received Series A round of funding of $15 million from Sequoia Capital. Besides Teen Patti, the startup also has a game based on Rummy and had launched a digital version of Tambola. Following this, creator of Real Teen Patti  Red Monster Games India, had raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Matrix Partners India in September. Note that Matrix Partners had also invested in online rummy site Ace2Three, an investment it made in 2010.

Developments in mobile gaming:

– Mobile gaming startup HashCube raised Rs 4.2 crore series A investment led by the mobile games company Nazara Technologies and participation from Ah! Ventures, CDMA Development Group founder Perry LaForge, and existing investors Indian Angel Network and Blume Ventures, in November last year. This was probably the first investment from Nazara’s seed fund for game developers that was set up in November 2013.

– In October last year, Reliance Games revealed plans incubating and investing in startups in the gaming sector. The company was still in the process of evaluating games from a couple of developers and had identified some encouraging concepts and prototypes to invest in. The details of the plans for the incubator were expected to be finalized last month.

– Mobile advertising network InMobi had announced a $25 million fund for indie game developers along with a new monetization solution for games in July last year. However, this initiative was not a regular corporate investment fund; rather it was an initiative from InMobi to increase its game developer base by providing various advisory services like global scaling, monetization, and ad experience creation to developers.

– In 2013, Bangalore-based Dhruva Interactive had setup an incubator called Gametantra, targeting mobile game developers where it would offer space and mentorship in return for a 3-7% stake.

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#Outlook15: What Indian Mobile Gaming Companies Plan To Do In 2015

Image source: Moonfrog