Iminlikewithyou, a New York-based dating game start-up has raised $1.5 million in Series B round of funding from Spark Capital, and a bunch of influential angels including Marc Andreessen. Baseline Ventures and Betaworks, also had previously invested in the company joined this round of capital. Bijan Sabet, who recently made news for investing in Twitter is joining the board of Iminlikewithyou.
I wrote about Iminlikewithyou at the time of their launch and found their dating-gaming platform very compelling and addicting. Over a period of time, I made many friends because of that platform. The gaming focus didn’t quite turn Iminlikewithyou into a web-sensation. Co-founder Charles Forman, refocused Iminlikewithyou as a way to build casual games.
That strategy seems to be working for the company, as it has gained some popularity for its four games – Blockles, Dinglepop, Drawmything, and Gemmers. Blockles looks like a clone of Tetris, but with a realtime multiplayer twist. Competing against many people in realtime makes these variants of old classics exciting and very social.
Iminlikewithyou, while keeping its dating site alive, will offer this real time casual gaming platform to third party developers who can develop games that can be played anywhere on the web. The move comes at a time when there is a growing interest in casual games, especially among investors who see ad-supported games and virtual goods as the next big pot of gold. Maybe!. I say that because these games and gaming start-ups need to get a big audience before they hope to crank up the money engine.
As part of this new round, Pooj Preena, former Skype executive who till recently worked for Betaworks is joining the company as Chief Operating Officer, hoping to build the basic infrastructure of the company. While I am happy for Pooj, it sucks because he is one of my best friends in San Francisco and he is going to move to New York. Maybe Pooj can calm down Forman, who is “mercurial” to put it mildly. (For a detailed litany of his antics, check out Valleywag). His co-founder, Dan Albritton has left the company.