TreSensa, which offers tools for the development and distribution for mobile games, is announcing that it has raised $2 million in Series A funding.
Surprisingly (at least to me) TreSensa is focused on games built in HTML5 for mobile browsers. The reason, according to CEO and co-founder Robert Grossberg, is that the "window of opportunity" in smartphone app stores has closed.
Launching a game in those stores now is "almost like a Hollywood blockbuster," he said, without much hope for independent developers who lack a big marketing budget. (That's one of the reasons why people found the Flappy Bird story so fascinating.)
What makes the mobile web better for them? For one thing, there are a number of game portals for distribution. For another, it allows games to be developed for and played across multiple devices. And Grossberg said browser-based mobile games have a better chance of spreading on social networks, once "you take away the friction of a download."
"We’re handling all of the plumbing to get that single code base to work all across more over 60 different distribution end points," including game portals and social networks, he said. Other features include carrier billing, so it should be easier for developers to support payments in their games (they share the revenue with TreSensa).
It's not just indie developers using TreSensa. For example, HBO partnered with TreSensa in its first HTML5 initiative, building the True Blood-related game True Survival.
"They just tweeted that out and posted on Facebook for their user base, who could click the link [and play right away]," Grossberg said. "It didn't matter what device they were on."
The new round was led by Caribou Asset Management (whose principal Michael Elkins is joining the board of directors), with participation from Tremor Video co-founders Jason Glickman and Andrew Reis, American Media CEO David Pecker, and AdMeld founder Ben Barokas. This brings TreSensa's total funding to $3.5 million.