Casual games developer Big Fish Games (Mystery Case Files
series) secured $83.3 million in funding from VC firms Balderton Capital, General Catalyst Partners and Salmon River Capital in what is being described as the biggest financing deal for a U.S. online gaming company, according to Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association.
Big Fish says it will use the new capital to accelerate its plans for global expansion, which include the launch of a new Japanese site last week and its new Vancouver, B.C branch.
In July 2008, the company also relocated its headquarters to the Seattle waterfront, where its new offices currently occupy 310 employees (with room for 450), a sharp increase from the 55 workers Big Fish had on its payroll only three years ago.
the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, CEO Jeremy Lewis says that Big Fish sought financing despite being profitable since the company was founded six years ago, explaining, "My experience, the best time to raise capital is when you least need it." Previously, Big Fish picked up $8.7 million in angel funds in 2005.
"Big Fish Games has a remarkably deep and talented management team and the company is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the worldwide growth of online interactive entertainment," says Balderton Capital general partner Mark Evans, who will join Big Fish' Board of Directors. "We, along with General Catalyst and Salmon River, are thrilled with the opportunity to partner with the Big Fish Games team and contribute to their rapid growth and market leadership."