Atomico Ventures, the VC firm founded by Skype and joost duo Niklas Zennström and Janus Friis, and a host of digital media luminaries have backed games-based social network Playfire to the tune of $2.1 million (£1.25 million), building on previous investment from Bebo founder Michael Birch.
Also joining in this round alongside Atomico and Birch are LastMinute.com co-founder Brent Hoberman, LoveFilm co-founder Alex Chesterman and Atari CEO David Gardner (via Sunday Times and more details from Techcrunch).
Social games services are a boom area just now: as the kerfuffle over the latest Call of Duty title illustrates (HMV (LSE: HMV) predicts one million sales in its first week), online multiplayer games are hot property and big money, not to mention the runaway success of community-based massively-multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft. Sites that can let gamers compares scores, swap tips and simply meet other people to play online with are going to be popular — although there is competition from consoles’ own social services such as PlayStation’s Home and Xbox Live.
Co-founder Kieran O’Neill sold his first venture — video site HolyLemon — for $1.25 million in 2007.