December 5, 2019, SAN FRANCISCO – Wildlife Studios, a mobile gaming technology company with over one billion players worldwide, today announced a $60 million Series A round of funding led by Benchmark. The round values the company at $1.3 billion, and its proceeds will accelerate talent acquisition, further enhance game quality, as well as support new developers to bring games to market.
“Benchmark’s partnership will help us further our mission of entertaining billions of players around the world,” said Wildlife Studios Co-founder and CEO Victor Lazarte. “We are increasing our investment in world-class talent and significantly growing our team as we scale our games globally. Benchmark has the track record to help us get there, as well as the culture fit we’re looking for in a partner.”
The company’s game roster includes fan-favorite mobile games Tennis Clash and Zooba, among others. Tennis Clash is currently ranked in the top ten most downloaded games in over 100 countries, with more than 300,000 downloads per day, and Zooba was the 5th most downloaded game in the US days after launch. Wildlife Studios has launched more than 60 titles since 2011 and expects to reach 2 billion mobile game downloads by the end of 2019.
The mobile gaming industry accounts for more than half of the entire videogame industry and is its fastest-growing segment, generating approximately $70 billion in yearly revenues and growing 26% on average each year.
“Wildlife Studios’ is well-positioned to take more than its fair share of the mobile gaming market,” said Peter Fenton, General Partner at Benchmark. “The team is incredible and they have the ambition, creativity and grit it takes to capture and scale a global user-base.”
“When we first invested in Wildlife Studios, we bought into Arthur and Victor’s compelling vision of developing and launching blockbuster games for the fast-growing mobile market,” said Brian Feinstein, Partner at Bessemer Venture Partners. “It’s been an exciting journey to see Wildlife evolve from a small studio with a single hit game to a global gaming studio with 60 successful titles.”
The company is one of the largest game developers in the world with around 500 employees and offices in São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Dublin, San Francisco, Palo Alto, and Orange County. The company has recently made strategic leadership hires including the creator of League of Legends and studio director of Riot Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s VP of Engineering and Mercado Libre’s VP of Engineering. With this funding round, the company aims to increase employee headcount to more than 800 employees by the end of 2020.
“My brother and I wanted to combine our love for game development with the limitless potential of the mobile market to bring games to people around the world,” said Wildlife Studios Co-founder Arthur Lazarte. “We started as a tiny studio in São Paulo and we’ve now expanded to six offices across the globe. Our mission is to deliver the best experience to our players by finding the most talented people who share the same passion as we do – building, developing, and distributing the best mobile games in the world that will mark a generation of players.”
In addition to Benchmark, participants in the round include Bessemer Venture Partners; Javier Olivan, VP of Growth at Facebook; Ric Elias, co-founder and CEO of Red Ventures; Micky Malka, partner at Ribbit Capital; Divesh Makan, partner at ICONIQ Capital; and Hugo Barra, former VP of VR at Facebook.
About Wildlife Studios
Wildlife Studios is one of the 10 largest game developers in the world, by number of downloads. It has released over 60 games to date, including hits such as War Machines, Colorfy, Zooba, Tennis Clash and others. Its games have been downloaded by close to 2 billion users in 115 countries. Founded by brothers Victor and Arthur Lazarte in 2011, the company today employs around 500 people across six offices in four countries.