Gaming Startup Manticore, Scoops Up $100 Million Investment
Six-year-old start-up Manticore Games has raised $100 million in a Series C financing round led by XN Capital to expand its online gaming platform to the core. The co-founders sold their previous game company, Bit Lucky, to Zynga for more than $20 million. The funding round follows the blockbuster direct listing of competitor Roblox, a company that provides tools for people to build their own games.
Manticore Games has raised $100 million for a user-generated game multiverse – or, as the company prefers the term “lose o” – called Metaverse by others. For Frederic Descartes, CEO of Manticore Games, “Metaverse” is a collection of universes of high-quality, custom games that are essentially endless arcades. It is a universe of virtual worlds linked by novels such as Snow Crash and ready for players to connect with each other. The company hopes to house part of this multiverse under one roof as a core platform for the company.
Roblox Corporation, the developer of the perpetual, creator-driven sandbox game, has announced a round of financing that will lead to a new $150 million investment by Andreesen Horowitz through his latest venture capital fund. The funding is substantial, as it is usually reserved for upstarts trying to get production going. The company will be joined by Tencent Holdings and Temasek as new investors in Roblox while existing investors Venture Meritech Capital and Tiger Global Management are expanding their existing investments. Manticore was first released in 2006 and allows users to create and share their own in-game experiences in a 3D world.
Last week, Rec Room said it had raised $100 million at a valuation of $1.25 billion from Sequoia Capital and Index Ventures. Industry leader Roblox went public in March with a market value of $40 billion. Its founder, Dave Baszucki, is now a billionaire.
There are business models in the next generation of consumer tech companies that resemble Fortnite more than Facebook. These are the game startups that I find most convincing. Playable World, founded by gaming veterans from Sony, is building an MMO for socializing. Guilded wants to do something new by improving Discord. Early-stage startups like networking are more interesting when it comes to taking shovels to improve the underlying game performance
Game developers are an underrated example of how the passion economy and solo renaissance phenomenon works. Many of the Roblox developers are teenagers, and the top developers earn $100K + a month. Gaming companies formalize career paths, and Epic Games has launched its release in the spring, funded by developers.