Crowdstar was founded in 2008 and is one of the top Social Gaming companies in the world. Crowdstar has secured $23 million from Intel Capital in its first major funding round. Intel is joined by Time Warner, Chinese game developer The9 and NVInvestments. CrowdStar, is best known for producing Facebook social games Happy Aquarium, It Girl, Happy Pets and Mighty Pirates.
The new investment is intended to help CrowdStar double its headcount of more than 100 employees as it looks to grow in the social gaming space beyond Facebook into mobile and into more international markets.CrowdStar is focusing on three main avenues to expand in the coming year—international availability of games, through mobile development and through talent acquisitions.
According to AppData, CrowdStar is the fifth-biggest game developer on Facebook when measured by monthly active users, with 29 million users a month. Zynga has 248 million active monthly users. CrowdStar’s new investment can help increase its user base.
Intel made a previous gaming investment last year in OpenFeint, adding to its growing portfolio of gaming companies with an emphasis on social and mobile. Intel also invested in Digital Chocolate’s $12 million round earlier this year and last year invested in Gaikai, a streaming cloud gaming service, as well as gaming start-ups Transgaming and Vostu.
“Social games are a fast-growing category on connected computing devices, and we believe CrowdStar is well positioned to continue to capitalize on this trend,” said Mike Buckley, managing director of Intel Capital.