Almaz Capital Partners, a Russian venture capital firm, has acquired a 23 percent stake in Russian casual game developer Alawar Entertainment after buying a quantity of shares from Finam Investment Holding.
Founded in 1999, Alawar both develops its own games and distributes other studios' titles, calling itself "the leading distributor of casual games on the Russian segment of the Internet." It has released some 200 games for PC, and has been branching out into iPhone and console platforms, with social game and MMO plans for 2010.
"We’ve made great progress in the distribution of casual games in Russia and now the company is well-positioned for a new stage of corporate development, which will mainly focus on international expansion," said Alawar CEO Alexander Lyskovsky in a statement. "Leveraging the network and experience of Almaz Capital Partners, we plan to enter new markets and extend the reach of our existing and upcoming titles."
Alexander Galitsky, an Almaz Capital managing partner, said Alawar "has established a leadership position in the Russian casual gaming market and is poised to expand globally."
Alawar already releases games in some 60 countries, and operates a U.S. office in Virginia.
Finam executive Alexei Basov said its stake in Alawar, which it sold to Almaz, "generated attractive returns."