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Summary:

Normally I don’t get too excited about billionaires making investments in start-ups: I mean that’s what they do, but this news about Amazon founder Jeff Bezos investing $3 million in casual gaming company Kongregate, is worth noting. Is this a simple investment? Or is it sign […]

Normally I don’t get too excited about billionaires making investments in start-ups: I mean that’s what they do, but this news about Amazon founder Jeff Bezos investing $3 million in casual gaming company Kongregate, is worth noting. Is this a simple investment? Or is it sign of things to come from Amazon? I think it is the latter.

Kongregate is like YouTube of games, offering free, ad-supported Flash games and an online community. “This is a rainy-day recession fund,” CEO Jim Greer told Red Herring. The company still has more than $3 million of its previously raised cash. After this cash infusion, Kongregate has raised $9 million including $5 million from Greylock Partners. It was angel funded by Jeff Clavier (who apparently is too busy to call his friends) who introduced us to the company. We wrote about them, had them on The GigaOM show as well. Anyway the whole casual gaming sector is catching fire, and we are following it closely, and will be ramping up our coverage on the CGS.

  1. Hey Om – Thanks for posting this – we’re really pleased about the investment. On the topic of doing something with Amazon -if anything, this investment from Jeff makes it *less* likely. He’s not going to do anything at Amazon to create a personal windfall for himself – not worth the bad press he’d get about it.

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  2. @ Jim

    To clarify, I am pointing out that Amazon might be interested in the overall casual game market.

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  3. @Om – Ah, understood. Yes, Amazon definitely has an eye on this.

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  4. “too busy to call his friends” ouch!

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  5. @ Jeff, well that got your attention didn’t it.

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  6. [...] personal fund, Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos is proving Om right. Back in May when Bezos invested in Kongregate, another casual gaming site, Om thought it might be the first of many. May is also when SGN raised [...]

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  7. [...] Sunday, December 14, 2008 | 9:00 AM PT | 0 comments This year we watched a tremendous amount of money go into casual web game startups, many or most of which heavily depend on advertising as a revenue [...]

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