I wonder in what shape the Japanese venture capital industry (and entrepreneur scene) would be without social games. Yesterday, TechCrunch Japan reported about Tokyo-based social apps provider gumi getting a “multi-million dollar” sum from GREE, which counts 21 million members in its mobile gaming network.
And today, Japan- and Australia-based Istpika says it received $2.5 million from IncubateFund, an investment vehicle capitalized at $37 million. One of IncubateFund’s goals is to back social game providers, which is not too surprising, given that Japan’s other mobile gaming giant, DeNA (Mobage-town), has injected $31 million into the fund (IncubateFund is also involved in gumi).
Istpika’s CEO Michinori Fukushima says his company now counts 50 people in offices in Osaka, Tokyo, and Perth, Australia. Istpika has so far developed games for Mobage-town, GREE, the iPhone and Facebook. The fresh money will be used to develop social games for the iPhone and recruit more employees.
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