Finnish mobile developer Small Giant Games has raised $41 million following the success of its match-three RPG Empires & Puzzles.
The profitable studio aims to use the investment to increase its global reach, expand its team, grow Empires & Puzzles and develop new projects.
The funding round was led by the EQT Ventures Fund, along with existing investors Creandum, Spintop Ventures and PROfounders.
Small Giants’ Empires & Puzzles has been somewhat of a breakthrough hit for the company.
In 2017 the title generated $33 million in revenue and has racked up more than 10 million players, with a daily active user/monthly active user ratio of 33 per cent as of February 2018.
"We will continue to develop and innovate Empires & Puzzles and need more team members to take the game to the next level," Small Giant Games CEO Timo Soininen told PocketGamer.biz on how it aims to spend the investment.
"Additionally we will continue to increase the marketing and live operations activities for the game and will start promoting it in new territories. We are also starting the design and development of our next game now and are staffing for that.
"As we are already profitable, a large part of the investment was in secondary share purchases by our investors from the whole team of Small Giant. This was a perfect solution for us as our principle has always been to reward everyone in the team. We can now focus fully to take the game and our company to the next level."
"Culture of efficiency"
Despite such a large funding round, Soininen said the he remains a "big believer in small teams and talented individuals, as our company name suggests".
Soininen added that the primary objective for the company right now is to find new staff to join its current office and continue its "culture of efficiency". To that end it has now opened 10 job vacancies at the studio in areas including game design, client development, graphics design, animation and data analytics.
There are no plans at this stage, at least publicly, for any M&A activity.
For its new projects, Small Giant aims to double down on the RPG genre where it has learnt a number of lessons about developing, operating and promoting these kinds of titles for mobile.
"Our first anniversary of the game is in March and we really feel that we are only at the beginning with the development of the game," said Soininen.
"We plan to continuously add exciting new game features like the upcoming Alliance Wars - with our special twist on it - and season two with a lot of new levels, heroes, monsters and special events.
"We have a quite well-working framework for an RPG now and we are eagerly looking into deploying that into something conceptually different as well."
News of the latest funding round comes just a year after the studio raised $5.7 million in March 2017. Prior to that it had raised $3.1 million back in 2014, bringing total funding in the company to around $50 million since it was founded in 2013.