Outsourcing specialists Ultizen have secured $US 6 million is series B financing in a funding round led Taiwanese venture capital firm PAC-Link, along with Japan Asia Investment Co. and on-line advertising agency CyberAgent. The money will go towards expanding Ultizen's pool of resources through acquisitions.
So who the hell is Ultizen, you ask? Ultizen is one of those mysterious outsourcing companies, based out of China, that basically have their hands in many different gaming pies at once. They do everything from concept art to full-on programming to porting, providing services to everyone from small indie outfits to the big names in the industry. It helps to think of them as game development mercenaries. They're the A-Team of the gaming industry, and they love it when a financing plan comes together. Hit the jump for the full press release.
Ultizen Games Secures $6 Million in Series B Financing
-- Funds Will Be Used for Continued Rapid Expansion Through Acquisitions--
SHANGHAI, China & LOS ANGELES—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Ultizen Games Ltd., a game development and outsourcing company, announced today that it has secured $6 million USD in a Series B funding round led by Taiwan-based venture capital firm PAC-LINK, with participation from Japan-based VC firm Japan Asia Investment Co. (JAIC) and CyberAgent, a leading on-line advertising agency and media representative company. The Series B funding will be used to support company's continued rapid growth through acquisitions. Ultizen's North American offices are located in Los Angeles.
Ultizen closed a $1.5 million USD Series A round of financing from Shanghai and Boston-based Dragonvest Partners in late June of 2007, and grew from 70 to 350 employees within the company's first year of operation.
With the largest talent base in China, reliable security to protect client intellectual property (IP), excellent quality control and an outstanding record of on-time delivery, Ultizen provides the highest quality game art development outsourcing services to North American, European and Japanese clients ranging from "top 20" gaming and media companies to small and mid-size studios.
Ultizen Games' 350-person studio provides game development services including game design, porting, programming and art. A certified Microsoft XBOX Live Arcade game developer, the company plans to launch its first title on the XBOX platform in the fall of 2008.
"China has become the biggest game development and art outsourcing market in recent years and we believe the market will continue to grow exponentially in the near future. With the advanced technology and more than 350 talented developers, Ultizen has the potential to become the market leader in the industry," said PAC-LINK General Partner Allen Hsu. "In addition, the web-based casual game industry has shown tremendous growth. As an early mover in this segment, we believe that Ultizen will become a dominant player and, moreover, have great potential to expand from a developer into an influential publishing and operating company in this segment."
Founded in January 2005 by gaming industry veterans Lan Haiwen and Wu Jun, now Ultizen's CEO and Vice President, respectively, the company has achieved rapid success, and has grown to be one of the top three independent game studios in China, both organically and through the acquisition of Beijing-based Mo-Star Limited, a well-established game content provider on China Mobile's game portal platform. The company maintains studios in Shanghai and Beijing, China and opened an office in Los Angeles in the fall of 2007.
"Ultizen's leadership team, Lan Haiwen and Wu Jun, combines a deep knowledge of the gaming industry and the Chinese game development market with a sophisticated understanding of the needs of game development and media companies around the globe," said Dragonvest Partners Co-Founder and Co-Managing General Partner Jesse Parker. "They have done an outstanding job of attracting and retaining the top talent needed to support rapid growth and address their clients skills and resource requirements while maintaining a high quality standard."
Ming Hsu, General Partner, PAC-LINK and Tetsuya Tsuda, CEO of Japan Asia Investment (China) Co., Ltd. will join Dragonvest Partners' Jesse Parker; Ultizen Vice President Wu Jun; and board chairman and Ultizen CEO Lan Haiwen on the company's Board of Directors.
"Ultizen's track record of profitable growth is a validation of our capabilities and the top- and bottom-line business benefit our clients derive from partnering with us," said Lan Haiwen. "The addition of PAC-LINK, JAIC and Cyber Agent to our investment team provides us with the resources to aggressively expand our leadership position among China-based game development and outsourcing companies to address the huge market opportunity the thriving global gaming industry presents."