TeePee Games Gets Strategic Backing From Turner Broadcasting Europe


TeePee Games, a games portal still in beta, has received an undisclosed amount of funding from Turner Broadcasting Europe, the European wing of the Time (NYSE: TWX) Warner-owned TBS. The investment is a strategic one, and will see TeePee distributing games and providing usage analysis to Turner for games based on popular brands such as Ben10, Scooby Doo and Powerpuff Girls, for platforms including social, mobile, and Flash.

Tony Pearce, the founder and CEO of TeePee, says that the investment will be used to enhance TeePee’s current offering on Facebook and Android, and on development for future platforms. TeePee launched in beta two weeks ago, and has since seen 25,000 people register to use the portal.

The company plans to come out of beta this month with a marketing campaign and Facebook page.

Pearce says that a TeePee client for the iPhone and BlackBerry OS’s in “phase 2” of development and they expect to release them this summer.

He says TeePee, which gives users three lists to discover content — 10 games you’ve played before, 10 games that are similar to what you’ve played, and 10 games that TeePee thinks you would like based on your profile, but are not necessarily like the ones you’ve played before — worked on Facebook and Android first because they are “more of a mess than Apple (NSDQ: AAPL). There is more content we can present.”

He says it’s also significant that with Android TeePee can continue to control the billing: when a user downloads a game he can pay via premium SMS or PayPal.

You can see a fuller explanation of the business model behind TeePee here.

The business of app discovery is a key area right now, as the long tail in places like app stores — think of Apple’s 300,000 apps — means that most apps are impossible to find. In games, Pearce says, the average user “doesn’t care about top-ten charts. They want games from the long tail that they didn’t know existed.”

For Turner, Pearce says TeePee’s analytics can be used to get better connection to their users through the lifecycle of games: “They might like a brand from the Cartoon Network when they are young, but then those kids go off somewhere else when they get older. TeePee can help plug that gap,” and keep them on for the older Turner brands, he says.

Can TeePee be used for more than games? Yes, it seems. Pearce says that Turner is primarily interested in TeePee for games distribution, but he also points out that the analytical technology could conceivably also be used to distribute and analyse other kinds of content that gets consumed on mobile and social platforms.

This is the second investment for Turner in Europe in recent months: the broadcaster also provided some funding for Starlounge, an online celebrity news site. The financial terms of that investment were also undisclosed.

TeePee launched in November with $500,000 (£312,000) in seed funding. It’s the second venture for Pearce, who sold his last gaming company, Player X, to Zed for £10 million ($16 million) in May 2009. The company expects to announce another round of investment this summer.

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