Dazzle Rocks Closes $6.8M Series A
Financing for Mobile-First Social Sandbox MMO
Galaxy Interactive Leads Latest Raise in
Innovative Mobile Sandbox MMO Gaming for a Social Generation
HELSINKI – May 5, 2020 – Mobile game studio, Dazzle Rocks announced today that it has closed its Series A financing round, raising $6.8M from new investments and the conversion of existing notes. The round was led by Galaxy Interactive via its Galaxy EOS VC Fund with additional participation by Spintop Ventures, Ken Lamb (Dazzle Rocks Chairman and Co- founder of Initial Capital), byFounders, David Helgason, MTG, Sisu Game Ventures and other investors from the company’s earlier financing rounds. The investment will be used to continue developing the company’s next generation social gaming experience in a sandbox world. Their new game has been intentionally designed and built from inception to be attractive to both Western and key East Asian markets (including China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) and includes UI/UX elements that appeal to female and male gamers.
Created in 2015 with a vision to create a portfolio of scalable social MMO games, Dazzle Rocks was founded by Stella Wang and Joonas Jokela, both senior mobile gaming industry veterans formerly with Rovio Entertainment. Shortly after the company’s founding, they were joined by Alexander Schachtschabel, who brought his many years of experience in building highly scalable services at mobile focused companies such as Rovio and Ericsson. More recently, Galaxy Interactive Partner Richard Kim joined Wang, Jokela, Lamb and Erik Wenngren, Co-founder and Partner at Spintop Ventures, on the Dazzle Rocks Board.
“Whenever there is a seismic shift in the game industry, as is happening now with rapidly changing social media channels and uses, outside-the-box, forward-thinking creativity is rewarded. Our team is singularly and relentlessly focused on these changes. We have built a multinational and experienced team that is agile and ambitious to shake the market with a groundbreaking game experience that targets the trend of gamers seeking cooperative social sandbox MMO worlds rather than battle-oriented games,” said Wang, CEO of Dazzle Rocks. “Our approach is based on a comprehensive, 360-degree understanding of the global market and delivering revolutionary games and innovative gameplay in a way that only a small, focused and determined team can do.”
The Series A financing round will be used to help Dazzle Rocks continue to create a social gaming platform that inspires imagination and provides players with a massive, immersive and constantly evolving game universe. Inspired by the social generation, the sandbox MMO is focused on co-creating in a shared world as a place where players craft their adventures while communicating and interacting on a real-time basis.
“We are in the final stage of releasing an open beta for Western markets and will later follow with key Asian markets, including China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan,” said Jokela, COO of Dazzle Rocks. “Our custom social MMO engine foundation is now complete and enables massive global scalability and the development of our pipeline of future social MMO games.”
“With our digital identities becoming a critical component of how we define who we are, we were excited to discover in Dazzle Rocks a mission-driven team seeking to drive meaningful connection and engagement through social play,” said Galaxy Interactive Partner Richard Kim. “Leveraging this team’s deep understanding of mobile markets across the East and West, we are excited about their potential to unlock creative communities at global scale.
“Spintop looks forward to continuing to support the excellent Dazzle Rocks team and their exciting Social MMO games and we welcome the strength Galaxy Interactive brings to build the company as it moves forward,” said Wenngren, Partner and Co-Founder at Spintop Ventures.
“Initial Capital invested in Dazzle Rocks at the earliest stage it has ever invested in a mobile gaming company,” said Lamb, Dazzle Rocks Chairman. “It has been a rewarding experience to be involved from the beginning and see our confidence in the founding team’s vision and boundless ambition reach fruition.”
”We love Dazzle Rocks’ mission of creating social games that attract a diverse audience, in particular, the female player segment, which is growing exponentially. We’re excited to be investing in Stella, Joonas, and the rest of the team of experienced game developers. The team’s strength and unique insights into Eastern and Western markets alike make them uniquely positioned for success. With some of the most experienced founders in the gaming space onboard our Collective, we are uniquely positioned to help not only with capital but operational expertise as well. We’re grateful Dazzle Rocks have chosen us to take this journey with them.” Said Eric Lagier, Managing Partner at byFounders.
For more information on Dazzle Rocks please visit www.dazzle.rocks. DazzleRocks is also looking for ambitious talent to join its team, interested parties can find more information at its site.
About Dazzle Rocks
Dazzle Rocks is a mobile games development studio based in Helsinki. Founded by industry veterans, the team’s games connect global players through immersive social experiences and empower players to create and expand communities together (sandbox) in an evolving massive multiplayer online world (Social MMO). The game has been designed and built specifically to appeal to both East Asian and Western markets and also incorporates UI/UX elements that are female-friendly. The company’s massively scalable proprietary engine is easily adaptable to future games and supports virtual world building, virtual economy, spatially aware three-dimensional worlds and real-time, social communication and interaction during game play. The company’s first game is in beta testing and will be launched in the second half of 2020.
About Galaxy Interactive
Galaxy Interactive is a division of Galaxy Digital, a diversified merchant bank specializing in digital assets and blockchain technology. Led by Sam Englebardt (one of Galaxy Digital’s partners and co-founders), Galaxy Interactive manages and invests from the $325mm Galaxy EOS VC Fund (a partnership with software development company, Block.one) with a particular focus on video games, esports, digital objects, virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) and lifestyle applications that are leveraging blockchain and other technologies to power their businesses. Other recent investments include Mythical Games, Genvid, N3twork, High Fidelity, Immutable, Current, Good Money and many others.
About Spintop Ventures
Spintop Ventures is a Swedish early-stage VC Fund investing in Nordic SW based technology companies. Spintop, started in 2009, is backed by the European Investment Fund, Saminvest, Sitra and many high-profile tech entrepreneurs and is currently investing from Spintop’s third fund. Spintop was an early investor in Finnish game company Small Giant Games (SGG) sold to Zynga in a 700 MUSD+ transaction in late 2018 with Spintop co-founder Erik Wenngren an active SGG board member until the exit.