Flickr co-founder Stewart Butterfield has raised $5 million in funding for his new online gaming venture, Tiny Speck. Word that Butterfield, along with some other former Flickr employees, including chief architect Cal Henderson, were working on a gaming startup first surfaced last spring. The company is developing a massively multiplayer online game called Glitch, which it describes as involving “very little war, moats, spaceships, wizards, mafiosos or tapestries” and instead having “egg plants.” It’s due to launch late this year.
Butterfield left Yahoo in July 2008, along with Flickr co-founder Caterina Fake. Fake has since gone on to start her own company, decision-making startup Hunch, which has raised $14 million in venture backing of its own. Tiny Speck’s cash is coming from Accel Partners and Andreessen Horowitz, according to GigaOm, which first reported the funding.
Flickr actually began life as an onliine-game company, although the game never materialized (it was the photo-sharing feature that caught on) — so Tiny Specks is a return of sorts for Butterfield.