SkyVu in no doubt mobile will 'only get more competitive'

Battle Bears studio on funding, and mobile's future

SkyVu in no doubt mobile will 'only get more competitive'
Battle Bears' studio SkyVu recently raised its first round of VC funding, securing enough capital to open a satellite office in San Francisco and redouble its efforts in marketing and user acquisition.

But such investment wasn't sourced because the firm was desperate for cash.

Indeed, the Battle Bears series itself has been a sizeable hit on both iOS and Android, with its initial success helping to translate the franchise – in SkyVu's own view – into a multimedia brand.

So what motivated the funding round? To find out, we spoke to the company's CEO Ben Vu.

Pocket Gamer: SkyVu's Battle Bears series has generated more than 18 million downloads and the company is profitable. Why go after VC funding at this stage?

Ben Vu: We've created a successful mid-core free-to-play game that's engaging to all players -both free or paying, character driven and profitable.

We've got years worth of updates and many new games in development.

SkyVu's original Battle Bears

As the world shifts towards using tablets and more mobile gamers demand engaging mid-core experiences, we are focusing our efforts on becoming a leader in cross-platform tablet games with our original brands.

Make no doubt about it – things will only get more competitive in mobile. So having a larger war chest and more knowledge at the leadership table will help us succeed.

How will SkyVu put the invested cash to use? 

Although a bulk of the funds will be spent on marketing and launching our new games, some of it will be used to hire more C-level talent and develop new technologies that will provide our players a more engaging experience.

We are really excited about the opportunities we now have to innovate and help define what mobile gaming will be in the years to come.

Lightbank led the funding round, and one of the firm's partners – Paul Lee – will be joining SkyVu's board of directors. What makes Lightbank a good company to work with?

We're actually Lightbank's first investment in the mobile games space which is exciting because they are coming to games with an open mind but are backed by years of scaling businesses to high levels of performance.

Lightbank's proximity to Omaha and their philosophy in scaling successful businesses regardless of whether they're in the Bay Area or not mattered to me.

SkyVu's latest project, Battle Bears Zero

There are many advantages of being outside of the talent crunch on the coasts and Lightbank gets it.

Paul Lee is unique in that he has a lot of experience in games as a previous investor in BigPoint and Trion while also having experience in media from his tenure at NBC.

This is a very strategic partnership in scaling SkyVu into a global entertainment company.
Thanks to Ben for his time.
Staff Writer's news editor 2012-2013