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Big Fish raises $83 million from top tier investors
Big Fish, the casual games company, today announced that it had raised $83 million from top tier investors including Balderton, General Catalyst and Salmon River.
Balderton, of course, owns 100% of Codemasters, a stake in Habbo Hotel and cashed out of Bebo earlier this year when it was acquired by AOL for $850 million. They also have invested in Betfair and Lovefilm. So they get games, they get the Internet and they are prepared to make big, ballsy bets.
And they’ve made a big bet on Big Fish. That implies that they believe that the casual games market is big and growing, that Big Fish’s hybrid model of digital download and physical retail is powerful and that Big Fish is, already, a big fish in an expanding pond.
My hope is that this money will be used to help Big Fish migrate away from the “download and play for one hour” model towards a more browser-friendly, long-term relationship with their customers. But however you look at it, this is a massive vote of confidence in their business.